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Experts Discuss Green Economy in Kigali

In line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Rwanda looks like it will hit the target due to its influential climate resilient and low carbon dioxide economy in 2020.

From 2012 to 2014, according to the Minister of Environment, Dr. Vincent Biruta, Rwanda has achieved 60% in green growth strategies.

Dr. Vincent Biruta made the remarks while he officially launched the Green Growth week at Kigali Convention Center yesterday December 04, 2017.

Green Growth is a development approach that builds a sustainable economy while reducing pollution, waste and the inefficient use of natural resources – all in a way that maintains biodiversity.

Rwanda adopted an Environment and Natural Resources Sector plan (2009 – 2013) – “Towards a Green, Clean, Healthy and Wealthy Rwanda”, to ensure a sustainable management of natural resources and environment to meet the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) and MDG targets, Vision 2020 aspirations and the country’s international commitments.

A number of achievements have been attained since Rwanda launched and started operationalising the Green Fund that collects resources to implement green growth strategies in 2012.

Since then, environment crimes are being severely punished according to Eng. Colette Ruhamya, the Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority.

An 8.5MW solar power plant that has been operational since July 2014 has created 350 local jobs and increased the nation’s generation capacity by 6%.

Madam Colette Ruhamya said that Kigali city is reinforcing green homes using low cost and efficient utilities.

Air pollution kills about seven million people worldwide every year, with more than half of the fatalities due to fumes from indoor stoves, according to a report from the World Health Organisation.

An estimated 12.6 million deaths each year are attributable to unhealthy environments according to WHO 2012 estimates.

One UN Resident Coordinator Dr. Forde Ndiaye, commends Rwanda for the efforts it put in its green growth strategies aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Strategies, emphasizing the fact that “Rwanda has banned the use of plastic bags that are unfriendly to the environment”.

Dr. Ndiaye said that Rwanda has created a conducive environment and is introducing the green secondary cities.

He said that the United Nations Rwanda “is committed to provide all the technical and financial support it could muster to support the implementation of the national Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategies”.

He noted that green villages also are being constructed and inhabited in many cases by people relocated from the landslide prone areas and that a Green Village Toolkit is being utilized in government’s up-scaling efforts four a more climate resilient nation.

Mindsets

According to Dr. Vincent Biruta, the process of Rwanda to a green and climate resilient country, and low carbon economy is impeded by the mindsets of some government officials and some ordinary citizens on the green growth.

“Government officials and the population should be sensitized to change mindsets on the green growth journey. We can achieve it if Green growth is in our heart in everything we do”.

Minister Biruta explained, “If every Rwandan embraces the green growth, financial resources won’t be a problem for Rwanda” as there are home grown solutions to this issue”.

Among homegrown solutions in implementing green growth strategies are the green cities as it was said by the Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority, Colette Ruhamya.

“Creating more awareness on that the green growth should become everyone’s business”, emphasized Dr. Biruta, adding that “For ordinary people, we have to use the ordinary language that, for instance, air pollution, for them, means respiratory diseases”.

Asked if the private sector have been part of the green growth progress in Rwanda, Colette Ruhamya answered that , “They [Private sectors] have, but they have not been enough”.

“We need to move faster to achieve our targets with all other stakeholders”, she said.

 

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