Rwanda launches economy-wide project to advance climate adaptation planning

The Ministry of Environment and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority are launching a groundbreaking project to build the country’s capacity to plan and implement climate change adaptation initiatives. The four-year National Adaptation Planning Process Project aims to increase the capacity of the government, private sector and communities to plan, fund, implement and monitor climate change adaptation across the country.

The launch of the project will take place in Nyagatare District on 28 November 2020 with the community and guests planting bamboo along the Umuvumba River as part of riverbank protection efforts.

The National Adaptation Planning Process Project will increase access to up-to-date climate information, including climate projections and risk assessments. It will integrate climate change adaptation into sectoral development planning and budgeting processes, mobilise funds for adaptation and undertake long-term research on adaptation interventions. The project will also increase reporting and knowledge sharing on climate change adaptation across the country.

“Rwanda is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and we are already experiencing the devastating impacts of extreme weather events. This ambitious project will support a government-wide planning approach for adapting to climate change. It will ensure Rwanda is more resilient to floods, drought and other dangers by developing clear policies and strategies that protect people, property and our environment,” said Juliet Kabera, Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority.

The three major components of the project include technical and institutional capacity building for the National Adaptation Planning Process, advancing climate-resilient technologies and practices as well as monitoring, reviewing and knowledge sharing.

Under the National Adaptation Planning Process Project, a number of ecosystem based adaptation interventions will also be carried out. This includes agroforestry, intercropping and the stabilising of plantation verges with vegetation at the Shagasha Tea Estate in Rusizi District. The demarcation of a buffer zone on the banks of the Umuvumba river in Nyagatare District will be done through the restoration of riparian vegetation and the reforestation of upstream catchment areas along with silvo-pastoralism to strengthen livestock production and increase forest coverage. Agroforestry alongside Ibanda-Makela Natural Forest in Kirehe District will also be carried out using drought resistant tree species to reduce soil erosion.

“National planning processes can deliver results on the ground, with strong leadership, country ownership, links with existing initiatives and new priorities, and alignment with the country’s development objectives. As we plant seedlings today and continue to care for them and grow them, I hope this will inspire us to work together with community spirit, in using nature based solutions to adapt to climate change,” said Jessica Troni, Senior Programme Manager and Adaptation Portfolio Manager, United Nations Environment Programme.

The six million dollar National Adaptation Planning Process project is being implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority and is funded by the Global Environment Facility. The project’s additional partners include the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Ministry of Environment, Rwanda Forestry Authority (RFA) and the districts of Kirehe, Nyagatare and Rusizi.