MUSANZE- The Minister of Defense, Gen. James Kabareba yesterday urged army officers to use their capacity to fight environmental degradation in the country.
He was closing a three-day Environmental Security workshop at Rwanda Military Academy Nyakinama.
The workshop was attended by 40 participants, including Rwanda Defence Force officers, and officials from government environment protection sectors.
It mainly focused on sustainable waste management, contaminated land and un-exploded ordinance, site investigation and cleanup.
The workshop was organised by Rwanda Peace Academy in conjunction with the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM).
“There is need for concerted efforts to balance population increase and natural resource preservation,” the minister pointed out.
“Most conflicts in Africa are caused or triggered by environmental issues. Incidentally, the environment becomes the primary victim, the post conflict Rwanda can’t overlook this aspect which is important for our economic recovery,” Kabarebe said.
The Director of Rwanda Peace Academy, Maj. Gen Karenzi Karake, emphasised that there is a strong linkage between environmental security, development and peace.
“The deliberations at this workshop have emphasised the fact that an integrated approach of peace building, development and environmental security is perhaps the most
successfully strategy of ensuring lasting peace and sustainable development,” Karake said.
“Integrating environmental security into peace building, today, is indeed a security imperative and not an option”.
US-AFRICOM’s head of Environmental Security Branch, Art Kolodziejski, commended Rwanda’s environmental protection policies, saying that environment and security are intertwined and are affected by both national and international safety measures.