Rwanda and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) have signed the Funded Activity Agreement for Rwanda’s first major project supported by the GCF. The project, worth 32.8 million dollars, will strengthen the resilience of rural communities in Gicumbi District in northern Rwanda. The new project forms an essential component of Rwanda’s ongoing efforts to build the resilience of communities, particularly those at risk from the impacts of climate change.
Minister of Environment, Vincent Biruta, and Javier Manzanares, Executive Director ad interim, signed the implementation agreement on Thursday on the sidelines of the COP24 UN Climate Conference in Katowice, Poland.
Rwanda is developing quickly with significant economic and social development. To ensure the country continues on this trajectory, there is a need to properly prepare for and address the significant adaptation challenges brought by climate change. This means ensuring natural resources, especially land and water, are well managed and utilised sustainably.
The implementation of the new six year investment will be facilitated by the Rwanda Green Fund and directly support 150,000 residents, as well as provide wider benefits to more than 380,000 people.
It aims to restore and enhance the ecosystem in a sub-catchment of the Muvumba watershed. The project will expand access to fuel efficient cooking and increase the capacity of communities to renew and sustainably manage forest resources. Smallholder farmers will be supported to adopt climate smart agriculture.
The project will also develop climate resilient settlements for families currently living in areas prone to landslides and floods, and support community based adaptation planning and livelihoods diversification.
An important part of the project will be to take the adaptation and mitigation approaches realised in Gicumbi District and expand them to the national level. These will include sustainable forest management methods, green settlements, watershed restoration methods, among others.
Mr Manzales lauded the project as it is “focused strongly on the needs of the most vulnerable who have the least resources to deal with climate change. We want to ensure that resilience becomes embedded within communities living in Rwanda’s Gicumbi District, which is particularly prone to climate effects.”
Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Vincent Biruta, said:
“Rwanda is committed to the success of this project. It will positively impact the lives of thousands of Rwandans and boost the country’s adaptive capacity to deal with climate change. We hope these efforts will result in a project that can be replicated across the country, and scaled up to ensure sustainability and resilience are at the heart of Rwanda’s socio-economic transformation.”
The signing of the Funded Activity Agreement is the first step in implementing the Gicumbi project, with activities on the ground due to begin in January 2019.