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Rwanda secures over Rwf63 billion to scale up environmental preservation efforts

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The Government of Rwanda and Federal Republic of Germany have signed a Climate and Development Partnership to scale up climate change mitigation, adaptation as well as sustainable urban development, based on Rwanda’s National Determined Contribution Implementation Framework.

The partnership was entered on Tuesday 1st March 2022 at a high-level ceremony in Kigali where Germany was represented by Svenja Schulze, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development while Rwanda was represented by Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, and Mr Patrick Karera, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment.

The Climate and Development Partnership is aimed at working together to implement Rwanda’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agree­ment. Under its NDCs the country has committed to slashing its greenhouse gas emissions by 38 per cent by 2030 compared to a business-as-usual scenario – under the condition of international support and funding. Other important parts of the NDCs relate to adaptation matters such as water security, agriculture, land and forestry, settlements and health. The new partnership between Germany and Rwanda gives particular attention to NDC implementation projects with the Rwandan green fund FONERWA and to sustainable urban development measures.

Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ms Svenja Schulze, said : “The climate crisis affects all of us. We can only tackle this global threat by global cooperation. Fighting climate change is one of the top priorities of the German government and development cooperation is a very important part of this endeavour. Rwanda is a driving force in international cooperation on climate action. Together, we want to move forward into a carbon-neutral and sustainable future.”

Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, welcomed the partnership as a new chapter in the bilateral cooperation : “The partnership we just signed today between the Government of Rwanda and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany is aligned with our National Strategy for Transformation One (NST1) under the Economic Transformation Pillar with the main objective to accelerate private sector-led economic growth and increased productivity focusing on promotion of sustainable management of the environment and natural resources to transition Rwanda towards a Green Economy. Furthermore, the partnership comes to support Rwanda’s Nationally Determined Contributions targets that is estimated at 11 billion US dollar investment cost.”

Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment, has stressed the need to foster an inclusive and locally led approach for climate action : “It is obvious through research that local communities are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Our strategies have clear climate resilience measures that are tailored to the communities’ livelihoods. Joining hands to embark on the Climate and Development journey with the government of Germany is a paramount action that will lead to the concretization of our plans.”

The impacts of climate change can already be felt in Rwanda today : Temperatures are rising and weather patterns are changing, landslides and floods are increasing, particularly affecting the poor, rural population. Therefore, climate action is of highest political importance for the Rwandan government. Rwanda was the first African country to submit an updated NDC in 2020, which has gained international recognition. It has also presented a very detailed NDC implementation framework in 2021 for adapting to climate change.

The Rwandan-German Climate and Development Partnership will scale up support for climate measures in the areas of intervention “Climate change mitigation and adaptation” and “Sustainable urban development”, on the basis of the Rwandan NDC Implementation Framework.

This will involve programs combining capacity development and financial support for the implementation of the Rwandan NDCs, strengthening the population’s climate resilience (involving reforestation measures, flood protection and water management enabling climate-resilient agriculture), as well as sustainable waste management and the circular economy.

In the field of climate-smart urban development the focus lies on the construction of a new settlement “Green City Kigali” with a high urban density and affordable housing for up to 8,000 inhabitants, quality and green urban infrastructure including nature-based solutions for drainage and heat absorption, rainwater use and fresh water supply as well as waste water treatment. This is complemented by measures to increase access to environmentally sustainable energy supply, by establishing hydropower and new energy lines.

The partnership will also enhance the climate policy dialogue on jointly fighting climate change with the aim of achieving global climate neutrality, initiate cooperation with the scientific community, the private sector and civil society, and foster an inclusive and locally led approach for climate action.

At the signing ceremony , Rwanda and Germany also kicked off the implementation of priority projects of the new partnership of a total envelope of 56 million euros (over Rwf63 billion) : Agreements for the urban development project “Green City Kigali” (30 million euros) and for the implementation of the Rwandan NDCs through the NDC Facility at FONERWA (26 million euros) were signed with the German Development Bank KfW.

Complementing climate adaptation and mitigation projects in Rwanda, both countries also cooperate in international climate initiatives, particularly in the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance and the NDC Partnership.

The new Climate and Development Partnership builds on the existing portfolio, which adds up to a total of 163 million euros. Germany intends to make further funds available in 2022 and also thereafter.

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