Integration of environmental sustainability and budgets results enhanced access to energy efficient technologies and clean water
Rwanda’s Environment Management Authority and the joint UNDP-UN Environment Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) Rwanda programme developed an environment and climate budget and planning checklist for the first time in 2011. Since then the guidelines are every year updated and used by sector and line ministries in the annual budget and planning process under the guidance of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN). The continuity of this work is bearing fruit. A sector performance assessment of the 2015 sector plans carried out by REMA and PEI Rwanda shows that all 14 sectors and 30 districts continues to integrate poverty-environment linked issues into their annual plans and budgets.
The assessment noted that the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) has furthered soil conservation efforts and expanded crop varieties in support of local farmers. In the Infrastructure sector energy efficient technologies have been promoted resulting in increased access to electricity. The environment and natural resource sector have further rehabilitated degraded ecosystems and improved forest management as well as piloted integrated water resource management enhancing water security at the district and community level. Improved farming conditions and enhanced access to energy efficient technologies and clean water improves the livelihoods and life quality for many Rwandan’s.
The Director General of REMA, Rose Mukankomje, noted that the Sector Assessment “revealed that remarkable achievements have been made, even if there is still a long way to go, I hope that the recommendations made in this report will prove useful to all those concerned sectors to better plan for further achievements’ .
Caleb Rwamuganza, Budget Director, MINECOFIN, Rwanda said that investing in “environmental issues is a necessity; if we do not address environmental issues people will struggle.” Mr. Rwamnuganza further emphasized the importance of having easily applicable tools (e.g. budget and planning checklists) and building adequate capacities of sector and district staff for the application of such checklists; the significance of having the ministry of finance to lead and guide the process; and the usefulness of evidenced based studies to achieve these type of results.
Three sector ministries, Trade and Industry, Infrastructure (MININFRA), and MINAGRI, have in 2015 further recruited environmental experts to ensure compliance with environmental guidelines and regulations. The ministries have conducted strategic environmental assessments (SEA) for their planned projects and complied with the recommendations from these assessments. MINAGRI has further established an internal working group on environment and climate change following the recommendation from the SEA. The recruitment of the environmental experts indicates that sector ministries have internalized the importance of integrating an environmental sustainability perspective into the day to day operations.
Source: Foreword of the sector assessment report.
 Source: Presentation at PEI Africa regional meeting, Kigali, Rwanda, October 2015.