KIGALI - The Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA), yesterday, held a meeting with all stakeholders in environmental protection to discuss and streamline their respective roles.
The forum was co-organised with the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
Reports indicate that some NGOs in the area have no defined role in protecting the environment which inspired the government to organise a forum to assess their respective contributions.
Speaking to The New Times shortly after the meeting began, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Caroline Kayonga, underscored that it was the government’s obligation to examine the NGOs as well as understand their performance.
“We realised that there is much we need to know, which is why we are meeting these NGOs that are working under our ministry.”
She noted that there had been a weakness in coordination between NGOs and the ministry, adding that proper flow of statistical information will avoid duplication of roles.
Madeleine Nyiratuza, country coordinator of Great Ape Trust, an NGO that operates in Gishwati Forest, acknowledged that they still had some challenges the government should help them overcome.
“Gishwati Forest Reserve is protected; there is no deforestation because we have a monitoring team. We, however, still lack more stakeholders to support the residents around by financing various non-agricultural activities to improve their welfare,” said Nyiratuza
The Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Dr Rose Mukankomeje, appealed to the stakeholders to double their efforts in conserving the environment as the way of developing the country.