Collective responsibility needed to conserve environment, says REMA

Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) has called for collective and inclusive responsibilities to ensure sustainable environment management in the country.

The call was made during a news conference on Thursday ahead of the Environment Week that is expected to begin today and end on June 5 to coincide with the World Environment Day.

The Environment Week will run under the theme “join the race to increase resilience to climate change.”

Coletha Ruhamya, the acting director-general of REMA, said everyone should take responsibility toward building resilience to climate change, calling for proactive activities for sustainable environment.

“We all need to become active participants in greening our surroundings, disposing wastes properly, fighting against air pollution and using efficiently our resources,” Ruhamya said.

She also called for everyone’s involvement in low carbon and climate resilient development by addressing the vulnerability to climate change in communities.

Celebrated annually, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness on environment and climate change to encourage public attention for positive action. 

The weeklong activities organised ahead of World Environment Day include public lectures in higher learning institutions which will tackle the World Environment Day 2016 theme and a walk advocating for air quality and motor vehicle emissions control.

There will also be a launch of a campaign promoting the use of environmentally friendly bags, which will be implemented in partnership with districts and the Kigali Veteran Cooperative Society (KVCS Women Project), among other activities.

Meanwhile, Jean Baptiste Nsengiyumva, the director of the risk reduction and preparedness unit at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, said that efforts to conserve the environment means resilience to disasters, which have in some instances caused loss of life.

“When you build resilience to climate change by harnessing environment you also build the resilience to disasters at the same time. We need to align all our activities with disaster resilience and protection of our environment to ensure we are both climate change and disaster resilient,” he said.

The week-long activities will be launched, today, at national level during community work (Umuganda) at Integrated Green Village in Gashaki Sector, Musanze District, which hosts people formerly residing in isles in Ruhondo and Burera lakes.