Musanze - A three-day environmental security workshop has opened in Musanze District with Defence Minister, James Kabarebe, calling for concerted efforts to avert environmental degradation.
The meeting aims at exploring ways of protecting the environment, natural resources and sustainable waste management.
Over 40 participants are attending the workshop, organised by Rwanda Peace Academy in conjunction with the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).
Kabarebe, called for collective efforts to address environmental challenges and utilise resources to benefit sustainable development.
“Natural resources are increasingly under pressure from unsustainable use resulting in environmental degradation as well as decline in ecosystem and services. We cannot afford to lose our natural heritage through environmental degradation,’’ Kabarebe said.
The participants will gain knowledge on standardisation and compliance with international environmental practices, laws, guidance and standards, as well as the implications of various international laws and agreements.
“Our very survival and that of future generations depends on the sustainable use of our environmental resources,’’ Kabarebe added
US-AFRICOM Environmental Security Branch chief, Art Kolodziejski, said that environment and security are intertwined and are affected by both national and international safety measures.
The Director of Rwanda Peace Academy, Maj. Gen Karenzi Karake, said that Peace academy, views environmental protection as a security issue, and a development concern as prioritised through national strategic guidance.
Participants will gain in terms of capacity building in inter-agency and cross-organisational collaboration on environmental security, planning and execution of environmental and engineering aspects of various military and peacekeeping operations.
“The Rwanda Peace Academy, in keeping with the national strategic guidance, views environmental protection as a national security issue and as a development issue to which we are obliged to contribute," Karenzi said.
The workshop drew participants from the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), the Ministries of Health, Refugees and Disaster Preparedness, Defence and Internal Security.
Other stakeholders are Kigali City Council, Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) and Rwanda National Police.