Businesses will be required to carry out an environmental assessments to ascertain their impact on the environment.
Currently, emphasis is placed on bigger projects and industries which Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) says are not regulated yet their activities end up harming the environment.
“We want to target private businesses because their activities can also hamper environment,” Fred Sabiti from REMA said.
If the country is to combat the effects of environment degradation like climate change, Sabiti noted that private and small scale businesses must assess their impact on the environment.
“These businesses concentrate on their benefits in terms of profits rather than looking at the future,” he noted, adding that if sustainable development is to be realised there is need to focus on businesses today.
He noted that negative impact such as destruction of water catchment, green areas and pollution may result from poor allocations of businesses and industries.
“Environment protection job has been taken to be for REMA, but stakeholders have a big role to play, that’s why we are equipping them with environmental protection tools,” he said, during a training workshop on sustainable development aimed at enhancing equitable business environment.
Christian Twahirwa, from the Ministry of Trade and Commerce said that the government through the Vision 2020 and related policies is laying emphasis on sustainable development through protection of natural resources.
“Inclusion and consultation in planning, decentralisation, socio-economic and political stability will alleviate poverty and bring about development,” he said.
Twahirwa further stated that proper use of the natural resources and emphasis on recycling of waste products would not only protect environment but also increase employment opportunities and income among the people.