|International and National Environmental NGOs and CBOs urged to endorse National Environment Policies in their Action Plans|
Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) organized a two day training workshop to the representatives of International and National Non Government organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) working in different areas related to protection, conservation and management of the environment in Rwanda. The training workshop took place from 3rd to 4th 05/2012 in Musanze District, Northern Province. A total number of 116 representatives of NGOs and CBOs participated in the training.
The main aim of the workshop was to encourage the NGOs and CBOs to mainstream in their action plans the environmental policies and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures toward sustainable development.
The training workshop was also an opportunity for both REMA and the NGOs and CBOs to discuss on an effective collaboration, identifying challenges and appropriate solutions.
While addressing the participants both at the beginning and the closure of the workshop, Dr. Rose MUKANKOMEJE, the Director General of REMA reminded the NGOs and CBOs present that environment is the pillar for the sustainable development of our country. Therefore people should change their mindset and act more responsibly and respond positively to the national environment policies.
The Director General also urged them to feel more as Government partners than “non-governmental” since they work for the benefits of the citizens that the Government is there to serve. She therefore encouraged them to play an active role in the formulation and implementation of the national Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy II (EDPRS II).
All these will only be achieved when the environmental NGOs and CBOs are able to cooperate with REMA by giving timely reports and any other relevant information and establishing effective and implementable action plans that suit in the Environment Sector Strategic Plan.
Directors of different department in REMA made presentations on environment and Climate change policies, laws, environment conservation and management, planning and budgeting and environmental mainstreaming aspects that are very crucial in the sustainable development of the country.
A representative from MINALOC in charge of settlements indicated to NGOs and CBOs how their contribution is necessary for improving livelihoods especially when there is integration of socio-economic and environmental concerns in their development agenda. He encouraged them to always partner with decentralized levels of governance so that their work is always captured in performance contracts of Sectors and Districts.
From group discussions the participants were able to identify the available challenges and opportunities and proposed the appropriate solutions to effectively deliver on the Environment and Climate change agenda in country.
Among the identified challenges include limited skills and capacity, un harmonized action plans, and separated efforts. The proposed solutions include the active participation of the NGOs and CBOs in the elaboration of EDPRS II, sharing of action plans and working closely with REMA and the Districts as well as timely reporting to ensure their contribution to environmental sustainability efforts in the environment sector is captured.
The Coordinator of Global Environment Facility-Small Grant Project (GEF-SGP) in UNDP, who participated in the workshop promised to work closely with REMA and environmental NGOs and CBOs to find solutions to some of the above mentioned challenges. She promised that small grants initiative will support good environmental initiatives that have strong impacts to the livelihood of the people.
It was recommended that REMA designs a reporting template for environmental NGOs and CBOs.
NGOs and CBOs were also encouraged to participate in the upcoming National Environment Week and the World Environment Day ( from 26th May to 5th June 2012 ) where different activities are planned in line with this year’s theme which is : “Green Economy: Does it include you?”