By Lamin M. Manneh, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Rwanda
16 July 2015 Serena Hotel, Kigali
Today a high level policy dialogue is being held on the progress Rwanda has made towards green growth/economy since the country adopted the national Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy in 2011. The policy dialogue is jointly convened by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the One UN Rwanda.
In our 5th June, 2014 Question and Answer edition titled “Raise your voice, not the sea level” published in this newspaper to celebrate the 2014 World Environment Day, we discussed extensively the threats faced by all nations from the effects of adverse climate change. In that article we recapitulated the scientific consensus about the fact that the effects of climate change being experienced today globally are caused by rising temperatures from an accumulation of the so-called released Green House Gases in the atmosphere dominated by carbon-dioxide. The releasing of Green House Gases into the atmosphere intensified with effect from the onset of the industrial revolution, and hence the responsibility for its damaging effects lies mainly at the doorsteps of industrialized countries.
However, the responsibility for effectively responding to the increasingly devastating effects of climate change lies with all the nations around the world. This responsibility should be discharged through reduction of carbon footprints and mitigation of risks of damage to crops, homes and other property, infrastructure, loss of livestock, wildlife and other biodiversity. This means incorporating climate change considerations into the installation of protective measures and in the construction of infrastructures, including transport and bulk utility installations.
It is also crucial that changes in our mindsets, behaviors and cultural practices in consumption patterns and carrying out economic activities are urgently effected. In this regard, we must endeavor to use resources efficiently in consumption and production and ensure that our production processes and other economic and lifestyle activities are low-carbon generating, meaning the release of the minimum possible Green House Gases into the atmosphere.Follow https://twitter.com/LMManneh