|FONERWA TO FOSTER THE HARMONIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT FINANCING IN RWANDA|
The National Fund for Environment and climate change in Rwanda abbreviated as “FONERWA” in French is eagerly awaited as a solution to promote sustainable financing for environmental management and climate change resilience.
According to Dr Rose Mukankomeje, the Director General of REMA, the fund for environment and climate change will help to ‘pull together and channel all the funds for environment for a better and sustainable use’.
The fund is expected to take on and harmonize the Forestry and Water funds and will serve as an attractive option for significant externally sourced climate change financing. With the growing importance of climate change both globally and nationally, the institutionalization of FONERWA comes at an opportune time when Rwanda has just developed a cross sectoral climate change strategy, Green growth and climate resilient: the Climate Change and Low Carbon Development strategy in which FONERWA was identified and proposed as the primary vehicle to uptake climate change financing to address national priorities.
Significant analytical work was undertaken in consultation with different sectors taking into account the need for national ownership and to ensure management of the fund is properly guided. Following approval by the cabinet of both CCLCD strategy and FONERWA at the end of 2011, the Law on FONERWA is in the parliament awaiting approval and subsequent operationalization.
FONERWA is established by the Organic Law No 04/2005 of 08/04/2005 Determining the Modalities of Protection, Conservation and Promotion of Environment in Rwanda, in its article 65, principle 2.
The fund will address national priorities
The fund, though hosted at REMA since it requires an institutional host that oversees cross-sectoral environment and climate change priorities on behalf of the Government of Rwanda, is overseen by representatives from various sectors, Private Sector, the Civil Society and the Development Partners at both the steering committee level and at the technical levels. The management arrangement will ensure that national priorities represented by different sectors are addressed in a way that promotes sustainability according to Mr Alex Mulisa.
“Some of the sectors have been showing their consideration of sustainability in their respective activities but they are constrained by limited funding. The fund will become part of a solution” mentioned Mulisa.
He further underlines that the fund will not in any way make REMA divert from its role, since it is in charge of ‘regulation, not implementation’. Therefore a cross sectoral representation will be deciding on national priorities that are eligible for the funding from FONERWA.
Who will contribute?
The fund is expected to be funded from both domestic and external funding.
The proposed domestic sources of capitalization include taxes and charges, mostly from emitting vehicles as well as the funds for forestry and water funds. Moreover, the existing external sources will be channelled through the fund for a better sustainable use. These include the funds from partners like UNEP,GEF, and others in addition to the climate change financing.