May 21, 2024

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Rwanda’s Inaugural Climate Talks: A Focus on Execution

The Ministry of Environment in Rwanda and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kigali organized the inaugural Kigali Climate Talks, which aimed to catalyze discussions on climate action in Rwanda with a focus on enhancing the execution of Rwanda’s ambitious climate strategies and its global climate commitments. This initiative was launched on May 9, 2024.

This inaugural event brought together representatives from government, civil society, academia, the private sector, youth, and development partners as an opportunity to share best practices, address challenges, and identify solutions to accelerate climate action.

Germany and Rwanda are strong allies in climate and environmental efforts. The Kigali Climate Talks complement the Rwanda-German Climate and Development Partnership, which promotes mitigation, adaptation, sustainable urban development, and climate research.

Rwanda remains committed to the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. The country is taking aggressive moves toward sustainable development, aiming to become a developed, carbon-neutral, and climate-resilient economy by 2050.

The Kigali Climate Talks offer an excellent opportunity to examine Rwanda’s Climate Action Plan, NDCs, and measures for increasing implementation and ambition.

Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, underlined the need for collaboration and inclusive dialogue in combating climate change. Indeed, communal action is critical for mitigating and adjusting to its effects.

She said, “Addressing climate change requires collaboration between all nations and organizations. Inclusive, robust, and open dialogue is an important ingredient in our shared effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

She added,” Climate change is affecting all of us. If we are to safeguard the well-being of citizens and our economies, we need to address the impact of climate change through our development programs. This is why the Government of Rwanda has chosen to pursue a green growth approach to sustainable development.”

She highlighted that climate considerations have been mainstreamed into sectoral policies, strategies, and plans. It is a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach.

Rwanda’s NDC includes ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 38% by 2030 and improving resilience through nature-based solutions. The government intends to invest a total of $11.04 billion (Rwf 14 trillion) to accomplish this goal. However, execution requires not only financial resources but also capacity and technological requirements, including research and development that support evidence-based decisions.

In the meantime there are some ongoing projects like TREPA, COMBIO, DeSira and AREECA that are significantly contributing to Rwanda’s NDC implementation.

For instance TREPA project focuses on promoting sustainable land management practices, which directly contributes to Rwanda’s NDC implementation by helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration.

In another Intervention, by enhancing community-based biodiversity conservation through the COMBIO project, Rwanda will be able to protect its natural resources and ecosystems, which are crucial for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Additionally, the DeSIRA project is improving the resilience of farmers’ livelihoods to climate change by introducing climate-smart agroforestry techniques, which not only help farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions but also contribute to carbon sequestration.

There is also AREECA project is playing a critical role in large-scale forest landscape restoration in Africa, including in Rwanda. By restoring degraded forests and landscapes, this project is not only contributing to Rwanda’s NDC implementation by enhancing carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation but also improving the livelihoods of local communities who depend on these forests for their sustenance.

Furthermore, other Projects like Green Gicumbi and Green Amayaga are also focusing on strengthening adaptive capacity of vulnerable rural communities to climate change through a range of different interventions.

Germany’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Heike Dettmann, highlighted that Kigali Climate Talks are a great platform to assess progress, enhance good practices, and identify creative solutions for effective climate action.

She said that Kigali Climate Talks will facilitate all topics in the general international climate resilience context, a new format on global climate policy, and national action.

She also noted that there is a need for climate talks to better deal with the climate challenges affecting some parts of Rwanda.

The event shared Rwanda’s progress in implementing its Nationally Determined Contributions, where the collaborative framework between Germany and Rwanda and the Kigali Climate Talks are concrete manifestations.

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