Rwanda can inspire other nations in environmental conservation - expert

Rwanda’s best practices in conserving the environment can be replicated in other countries around the world, a French negotiator on climate change has said.
MP Semasaka (L) chats with  Michel Flesh, the French ambassador to Rwanda (R) at Parliament Buildings as Gompertze looks on yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)
MP Semasaka (L) chats with Michel Flesh, the French ambassador to Rwanda (R) at Parliament Buildings as Gompertze looks on yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)

Rwanda’s best practices in conserving the environment can be replicated in other countries around the world, a French negotiator on climate change has said. 

Stéphane Gompertz, the French ambassador for climate change in charge of negotiating partners in Africa, the Indian Ocean, and Middle East, said this shortly after meeting members of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Environment yesterday.

Gompertz, who is visiting the country as part of preparing the UN climate conference, due December in French capital Paris, said the Rwandan voice is highly needed to shape opinions on the fight against climate change.

It is expected that all countries will sign a universal climate change agreement which will be reached at the UN climate conference in Paris.

Organisers of the summit, including Gompertz, are currently collecting views from different countries in the world about what ideas global leaders are likely to promote at the UN climate conference.

Gompertz said Rwanda has achieved a lot in the fight against climate change that it is now in a position to inspire other countries in Africa and the entire world about conserving the environment and running a green economy that mitigate dangers to climate change.

“Rwanda can help convince other countries that it is possible to conciliate economic development on one hand and the preservation of the environment on the other hand. There is no contradiction between the two,” Gompertz said.

“ Rwanda can also give good examples of how to mobilise the population to achieve the goal. Some measures taken by Rwanda can be examples for other countries for example the prohibition of the use of plastic bags.”

The diplomat said his hope was that Rwanda will inspire other African countries to take pro-environment stands at the UN climate conference in Paris.

“We know that Rwanda is a strong voice among Africans, so we are convinced that Rwanda can play a very positive role in helping Africans to express their views clearly before the conference and during the conference to contribute to positive results,” he said.

Instrumental FONERWA

Apart from banning the use of plastic bags, Rwanda is hailed for having set up a National Fund for the Environment and Climate Change (FONERWA), which is the largest such national fund in Africa.

With currently about Rwf50 billion in its coffers and the government allocating Rwf500 million to the fund every year, FONERWA has so far invested over Rwf22 billion in projects to fight climate change and environmental degradation in the country.

As Rwandan officials will be joining other world leaders for talks at the UN climate conference in Paris, experts say they should carry the message that developed countries should do more to reduce their production of greenhouse gas emissions while also increasing their support for developing countries.

“We feel that developed countries need to reduce their gas emissions but also support developing countries in their efforts to adapt to climate change,” said MP Gabriel Semasaka, the chairperson of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Environment.

The UN climate conference will be crucial for achieving a new international agreement on protecting the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

The world’s two largest polluters China and the US clinched a groundbreaking agreement on emissions during Obama’s visit to Beijing last year.

The US committed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 per cent by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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