REMA is non-sectorial institution mandated to facilitate coordination and oversight of the implementation of national environmental policy and the subsequent legislation.
REMA has a key role to play towards the achievement of the national goal of sustainable development as set in out in the National Developement Vision 2020.
The alarming rate of environmental destruction as a result of population pressure, serious erosion, pressure on natural resources, massive deforestation, pollution in its various forms etc. necessitated the Government, to form REMA to coordinate, supervise and regulate environmental management for sustainable development in Rwanda.
To achieve its objectives, REMA has to work with and through public, private sector and civil societies. Thus, the structure of REMA must accommodate operational links at these levels in order to enhance service delivery to its stakeholders. REMA structure should be flexible enough in order to cope with various challenges at central, decentralized and international levels. Two types of environmental management functions below, have to be given thorough consideration in the process of preparing the structure of REMA:
- Sectoral Environmental Management Functions relating to specific natural resources or environmental services such as agriculture, water, mining, forestry, waste management etc.
- Coordination and integration of environmental management functions in relation to cross-cutting issues such as monitoring and evaluation of environmental policy and implementation of environmental legislation, these are a prelude of REMA.
Mandates, roles and functions of REMA are clearly stipulated in the Law No 16/2006 of 03/04/2006 . Thus, the institutional structure for environmental management in Rwanda has to consider those functions and responsibilities along side with issues of concern listed below.
- Inter-sectoral coordination
- Linkages between local and central government.
- Clear institutional linkages
- Clarity of mandates to avoid conflicts.
- Adequate private sector and civil society involvement.
- Institutional capacity
REMA operates under the Ministry of Environment and Lands (MINELA),and is headed by the Director General who is responsible for the implementation of policy and framework legislation relating to environment.
REMA is governed by a Board of Directors comprising 7 people appointed by the Prime Minister on advice from the Minister responsible for Environment. The main responsibility of the Board is to ensure environmental policy and subsequent legislation are implemented, performance of the Authority is evaluated and budgets receive approval.
The final proposed organizational structure is built as follows;
- Deputy Director General Office
- Administration & Finance.
- Environmental Regulation and Pollution Control.
- Research, Environmental planning and Project Development.
- Environmental Education and Mainstreaming.
- Climate Change and International Obligations.