AT A GLANCE
Official Name: Republic of Rwanda
Independence: 1962 from Belgium
Strengthening Environmental Management and Equipping Stakeholders with Environmental Management Tools
Local Partner: Rwanda Environment Management Authority
Canadian Expert: Bernard Boudreau
Presentation: How to Minimize Environmental Impact? The Rwanda Initiative by Bernard Boudreau
Rwanda faces many environmental problems – deforestation, land degradation, misuse of wetlands, and water contamination, which all affect the poor most of all. In 2003, the government established the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) to oversee the integrity of Rwanda’s environment for sustainable development. REMA implements environmental legislation and coordinates environmental protection activities relating to agriculture, water, mining, forestry, waste management, etc. To achieve its objectives, REMA has to work across sectors, with and through public and private sectors and civil society.
“The consultation process used in developing practical environmental tools with my colleagues from Rwanda will make these tools more effective. The approach that included a gender perspective in each practical environmental tool has been well appreciated.” Bernard Boudreau
Achievements to date include developing solar power, biogas generation, banning plastic bags, and national clean-up campaigns.
Canadian Environmental Expert Bernard Boudreau helped REMA set up an environmental management plan based on decentralization, which encourages local community involvement and equal access to resources, particularly for women and the poor. He has completed setting up information-based tools for the now decentralized staff of REMA. Products include environmental planning tools (for building construction, rural roads, water supply, sanitation systems, forestry, crop production, animal husbandry, irrigation, fish farming, solid waste management); instruments on land management, assessment and planning (global position systems, geographic information system and mapping techniques); systems to support restoration and conservation of wetlands, agriculture sustainable production, soil and water conservation measures, agro-forestry, irrigated land, soil productivity and crop production. There was a focus on low-cost technologies (composting latrines, water harvesting). REMA is now using the draft guideline Practical Tools on Solid Waste Management of Imidugudu, Small Towns and Cities: Landfill and Composting Facilities to select possible landfill sites.