Environment and Sustainable Energy
Environment is a critical crosscutting issue in Rwanda, with important linkages to other national priorities like poverty reduction, productive capacity, economic diversification and growth, as well as Health and Education. Environment degradation affects living conditions of the poor households in rural area and urban area a like. Rwanda’s households strongly rely on natural resources, as basis for farming, fishing, energy production and housing. However, the baseline of environment degradation have been severely exacerbated by conflict and the attendant large, repeated displacements of population, as well as the need to permanently resettle millions of returnees since 1994. In the face of such unprecedented emergencies, concern for the environment was rather over-shadowed. It was difficult to worry about protecting forest and National parks when people were suffering for lack of fuel, land and shelter. As a consequence, we have experienced a very quick and alarming depletion of natural resources, which demands some quick policy and strategic actions to inverse the trend. The challenge therefore is not only to halt this catastrophic trend, but also to develop sustainable environmental management and practices, which reinforce the pursuance of poverty reduction and economic growth. UNDP Past experience in environment field
UNDP Past experience in environment field
Since 1994, UNDP support to the Government of Rwanda was rather oriented towards emergency activities. Within the framework of the first CCF (1998-2001), the two main areas for UNDP support were (i) capacity strengthening for good governance, and (ii) reintegration and rehabilitation for sustainable livelihood and poverty reduction. Many environmental and reintegration projects were approved and implemented under the umbrella programme of community development. The aim then was to contribute to poverty reduction through the promotion of employment programmes, support to socio-economic stability in settlement villages, and sustainable environment management. A number of Environment projects were implemented through integrated reintegration programme and were mainly reforestation, community conservation programmes and Africa 2000 network activities.
Current programme: Policy formulation on Environment management and the Environment law
The department of Environment within the Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Environment Management has requested UNDP to support in the formulation of a National Policy Document. This will lead to the Environment law, which will regulate environment practices in the Country. The law and the policy documents are ready and used as reference document. The 2 documents have been produced with technical support for The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Programme Support Document
An Outline Program for Sustainable Environmental Management and Improved Living Conditions in Rwanda program has been designed as a framework document for environment management in Rwanda.
Global Environment Facility’s activities
Rwanda Moutain Forest Protected Areas: This is a 297,000 $ US PDF-B project just approved by the GEF
Small grant activities (300,000 $ US for the first phase): The GEF Small Grant Program is intended to champion the support of communities’ initiatives for natural resources management and sustainable development as a strategic approach of fighting against poverty and promoting local governance. It is yet to be eligible for SGP-Grants.
Rwanda Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP): The Rwanda BSAP have already been submitted to the BSAP Secretariat.
Rwanda Second National Report for CBD (25,000 $ US): This has already been applied for to GEF HQ
Rwanda National Capacity Self Assessment (NCSA) (100,000 $ US): This is of considerable interest to Rwanda. The purpose of this activity is to prepare a request for GEF financing (a GEF Project Brief and associated UNDP Project Document) to conduct a thorough assessment and analysis of the capacity needs and constraints facing Rwanda as it works to meet its national and global environmental management obligations as set forth in the Rio conventions and related international instruments.
Our involvement in energy sector is still very low. Currently we are discussing with UNIDO and the GEF on a Rural Energy Development for Productive Use in Africa's Post-conflict Countries (Rwanda, Burundi, D.R. Congo and Sudan,. The ultimate objective is to contribute to the creation of stable socio-economic development in the rural and peri-urban areas of post-conflict countries in the area, through providing access to modern energy for productive uses; and, consequently, raising the standard of living and alleviate poverty. It will be designed to establish the foundation for a vastly expanded use of renewable energy applications for off-grid rural electrification in the post- conflict