Rwanda could be one of the beneficiaries of $4.1 billion from Global Environment Facility (GEF) earmarked for promoting green environment and fighting climate change, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) officials have said.
GEF is a global fund provider that addresses issues of environment and is available to developing countries and economies in transition to meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements.
The four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-7, will help safeguard the countries’ forests, land, water, climate, and oceans, build green cities, protect threatened wildlife and biodiversity in general, and tackle new environmental threats like marine plastic pollution.
Coletha Ruhamya, the Director General of REMA said that once the funds are released, they would help implement a sustainable and green cities development programme.
“We are set to receive $7 million financing which we are planning to spend on sustainable cities programme which is one of our priorities. Our national transformation strategy shows actions for green cities development in terms of water resources management, and wetlands protection where infrastructure have to be relocated. It will be more focused on wetlands rehabilitation and supporting people to avoid encroaching on them,” she said.
This was announced during the GEF Eastern Africa Constituency Meeting in Kigali on Wednesday bringing together Eastern African countries of Rwanda, Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya, Ethiopia Sudan, Somalia, Comoros, Seychelles, South Sudan, Tanzania, Djibouti, Uganda and Eritrea.
Rwanda has been benefiting from GEF funds in projects related to fighting land degradation, management of waste such as pollutants from electric transformers, fighting climate change, fighting loss of biodiversity and ecosystems, curbing deforestation and flooding and others, she said.
“So far, we have 45 projects worth $162.37 million in Rwanda that are financed by Global Environment Facility and $777.28 million of additional co-financing. But we still have gaps in terms of climate financing since the funds are still insufficient. We need to mobilise more funds,” she said.
According to Susan Matindi Waithaka, the country relations officer at Global Environment Facility for Africa, the funds go to programmes that have impact on food security.
“We urge countries to plan for projects that transform lives such as food security. In Rwanda, we have been funding projects in biodiversity, land degradation, chemical and waste management and international waters, among others,” she said.