29th April 2022, Kigali Rwanda, Global Green Growth Institute in collaboration with Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) hosted the GCF Readiness Preparatory Support Project Knowledge Sharing Workshop. With diverse audience that include NGO;s, GCF representatives, Rwanda Land Management Authority (RLMUA) , National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA), Cleaner Production and Climate Innovation Center (CPCIC), Rwanda Media Commision (RMC) and Rwanda Environmental Journalists it was a hybrid discussion that allowed the project team an opportunity to present the project results and deliverables for the past 20 months.
The Objectives of the workshop were to give updates on the :
- Engagement with GCF and climate finance and green investment opportunities in Rwanda ;
- Present key results of the project
- Present the Integrated Green neighborhood planning Guidelines
- Communicate the Knowledge acquired and Lessons learnt from implementing the GCF readiness project and highlight the way forward
Rwanda is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with economic growth averaging 7% since 2000 and 10.6% in GDP in 2018 . Rwanda is also the most densely populated country in Africa and one of the most densely populated countries in the world. With an urbanization target of 35% by 2035 , 10.3% of land area protected to maintain biodiversity by 2020, 30% of land covered by forest by 2020, and aspirations to become a developed, climate resilient and low carbon economy by 2050, Rwanda’s cities are critical component that contribute to the country’s socio-economic development . In Rwanda, urbanization and agglomeration are cited as one of six future drivers of poverty reduction and economic growth by the World Bank . Studies contributing to the World Bank report found that urbanization accounted for 37% of GDP growth and 48% of national labour productivity growth since 2002 . While Rwanda’s economy continues to grow, the development of the country – as well as the safety and security of its inhabitants – is severely threatened by the pressure on land and natural resources and the impact of climate change such as heavy rainfall and floods, infrastructure and building failures, water shortage, inadequate waste management, environmental degradation, decline in resilience of urban human settlements due to rapid urbanization and population growth, inadequate sanitation services, inadequate public transport, energy insecurity, and cross-cutting issues of gender equality, and youth and women employment.
The rapid urban population growth coupled with the proliferation unplanned human settlements have major impact on land use, housing, urban infrastructure and delivery of urban basic services. Furthermore, rapid urbanization itself has fueled unplanned human settlements development, many of which are in high risk zones prone to flooding and landslides. These challenges are addressed in the Districts’ development strategies and revised master plans. However, there is a need to mobilize wider scope of local stakeholders, capacitate them on green growth and climate actions to effectively implement subnational strategies and plans, and ultimately for a low-carbon and climate resilient urban future of Rwanda.
The government ministries and agencies, the private sector and local communities have a role to play in the urban and human settlements development process as well as in the environment and natural resource management sectors. The institutional framework for these sectors comprises several ministries and agencies that are responsible for developing the strategies, frameworks and action plans needed to implement Rwanda’s vision and medium-term strategies.
More efforts are needed to develop the readiness and capacity of the relevant stakeholders within the evolving framework of the government’s Vision 2050 and the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) to shift towards climate resilient and sustainable economy. Increasing the capacity for coordination need skills transfer and knowledge and best practice exchange. The timing of this project was very crucial in strengthening sector level capacity and coordination for the effective mainstreaming of climate resilience and green growth into the planning and budgeting processes aligned with Rwanda’s fiscal calendar. Rwanda’s economy depends heavily on environment and natural resources, and as such, it is imperative that the readiness of Rwandan citizens is enhanced to tackle environmental degradation, pollution, unsustainable management of natural resources and climate change risks which are major obstacles to addressing poverty, inclusive growth and sustainable economic development.
GCF Readiness and Preparatory support project rationale
Building on the results of the previous GCF Readiness Support to Rwanda, there is an urgent need to capacitate the project and program planners as well as the last mile implementers and beneficiaries to understand and integrate climate resilient development in their daily work. For instance, the adopted Green Building Minimum Compliance System supports the realization of low carbon urban development promoted by the revised master plans of the secondary cities. However, this system and related requirements need to be embraced, understood and applied by practitioners and investors. The broad capacity gaps include i) low coordination capacity at the Thematic Sector Working Groups to integrate or mainstream climate resilient development into plans and implementation; ii) low awareness and lack of targeted skills on climate resilience by the last mile implementers of programs and projects at subnational level; and iii.) insufficient capacity to monitor and verify investments through the traditional budgeting system.
The project objectives are to increase the capacity of Rwanda Government’s Thematic Sector Working Groups (TSWGs) with a focus on strengthening their functions and activities to inform sub-national level actors on green growth and climate resilience that will lead to the delivery of climate actions in their respective sectors, subsectors, and communities. This ensured that the project outcomes and outputs benefited the critical mass of society whose role is to implement government policies, strategies and projects on the ground. The overall results will lead to successful implementation of key national strategies and plans including the Seven Year Government Programme: National Strategy for Transformation (NST1, 2017/2024), Sector Strategic Plans (SSPs, 2018/2024), District Development Strategies (DDS, 2018/2024) and the National land use management and development master plan (2020 – 2050), the Green City Development Master Plans (2020 – 2050). These strategies and plans are aligned with the Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to stimulate green economic development and green investment in Rwanda’s secondary cities and others emerging urban centers.
The focus on capacitating sector platforms and thematic areas also aimed at reaching out to different groups, associations and institutions at the sub-national level. In addition, guidance, tools and modules that will ensure readiness and awareness to design, implement and monitor green growth and climate resilient projects was at the heart of this project. This included the upgrading of the existing Rwanda Climate Portal and establishment of portal users forum from environment sector development partners and stakeholders, to serve as main source of climate data and information in Rwanda, and support to the newly established cleaner production and climate innovation centre (CPCIC). The project presents an opportunity towards building stronger linkages and collaboration amongst the different sector stakeholders whose role is to implement government plans and policies..
Presentations were made by the GCF Africa regional Manager Kabishi Tshilumba and Joseu Banga ; Mr. Jean Pierre Munyeshyaka Officer, Senior Green Urbanization on 2020 GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Project results and Lessons learnt ; CPCIC Ms. Sylvie Mugabekazi on the Cleaner Production and Climate Innovation its mission and vision and practical examples of current projects ;followed by a panel discussion on:
– Land use planning for environmental protection
– Cleaner production and Climate Innovation for efficient use of natural resources and climate change adaptation/mitigation
– Mass communication for environment and Climate Change awareness creation
– Institutional coordination and capacity development for Environment and Climate Change
To watch the full recording of the Hybrid meeting, click on youtube recording