Over 138,000 green jobs have so far been created by Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA), the national fund for protecting the environment since its inception in 2013, Business Times has learnt. Alain Michel Doricyusa Gabiro, the Climate Finance Specialist at the Fund, explained that the jobs were created through various investment projects for climate change adaptation and mitigation. A great percentage of the funding went to different projects such as projects related to smart agriculture, land restoration, water management, renewable energy, forestry among others, he said. Statistics on return on investment show that the fund, which started supporting green projects in 2013, has enabled the securing of over 21.1 million hectares of land against erosion. At least 41,116 hectares were covered with forestry and agroforestry while 26.3 million hectares of watersheds and water bodies were protected. The green fund says 65,340 households have since got access to clean energy as 65 million tonnes of global warming gases (carbon emissions) were avoided. Gabiro said that 108,038 people were supported to cope with climate change effects. “We produced 7 studies that influenced climate resilience principles into national policies and sector strategies,” he said. The areas for future investments are going to focus on biomass replacement, green cities for green urbanization, sustainable transport, waste management and others, he noted He added that promoting the use of cooking gas, bio-digestion technologies to produce biogas energy, sustainable charcoal production are among the areas of focus. Though the Ministry of Environment has said that it has reached 30 per cent forest coverage target earlier before 2020 that was set as a goal, using wood fuel alternatives are paramount to avoid further forest degradation, environmental experts say. These alternatives are expected to reduce reliance on wood fuel from 80 per cent to 40 per cent by 2024 considering that cooking gas is set to rise to more than 240,000 tonnes by 2024, from the current 10,000 tonnes. The green economy initiatives are creating jobs for many unemployed people in Rwanda. “Again, our future investments are looking at e-mobility, green buildings and circular economy where we support reuse and recycling. For instance, we support the idea to upgrade landfills by turning waste into energy,” he said The Climate Finance Specialist was speaking during the national multi-stakeholder dialogue on adaptation finance in Rwanda last week. Serge Ngengimana the, Executive Director of The Adaptation Fund NGO Network (AFN) was initiated in 2010 said that as a coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs) engaging in discussions and debates on the Adaptation Fund’s policies, they also closely monitor the planning and implementation of the Fund’s projects. Currently, the Network has more than 250 associate CSOs mainly from developing countries. Its governing body is composed of 11 core partner organizations representing civil society from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. He said that the network aims to support those most vulnerable to climate change and ensure their benefit from the Adaptation Fund in a transparent way. “Climate change is posing many threats to the economy and people’s lives and that is why we must mobilize resources to mitigate and adapt to it. And therefore we monitor if the projects are implemented well in a transparent way. We advocate for needy people affected by climate change,” he said. He noted that they monitored a $10 million climate resilience project implemented from 2014 to 2018 in Nyabihu and Musanze Districts. Innocent Musabyimana, The Coordinator of Single Projects Unit at the Ministry of Environment said that government sets up policies and green growth strategy to fight against climate change effects but emphasized that there is need of civil society to be part of the implementation. “The strategy looks towards the 2050 vision and we need the contribution of civil society to implement it,” he said. Adopted in 2011, Rwanda’s National Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS) has 14 programs of actions. They include sustainable intensification of small scale farming; agricultural diversity of markets; sustainable land use management; integrated water resource management; low carbon energy grid; small-scale energy access in rural areas; disaster management and disease prevention. Others are green industry and private sector development; climate compatible mining, resilient transport systems; low carbon urban systems; ecotourism, conservation and Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES); sustainable forestry; agro-forestry and biomass; climate data and projections.