Rwanda celebrated the 2017 International Forests Day with a call for more private investment and strong partnership in water resources management and forest landscape restoration.
The Minister of Natural Resources, Vincent Biruta, made the call yesterday at Kigali Serena Hotel during a stakeholders’ symposium on investment opportunities in forests and water sectors.
Organized as a part of celebrating the Forests Day which is succeeded by the World Water Day on 22ndMarch, the symposium has been graced by Government officials, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands, representatives of Belgium and Germany Embassies in Rwanda and many representatives of the private sector, NGOs, the civil society, churches and financial institutions.
In his keynote speech delivered to participants, Hon. Minister of Natural Resource Vincent Birutahighlighted that Rwanda presents a unique investment opportunities for forestry and water sectors to cope with the rapidly growing country with extremely valuable natural resources threatened by development pressures.
“The private sector has the power to save forests and water and generate enormous social, economic and ecological benefits.
To date, the business community has played a relatively obscure role in restoration of deforested and degraded land, yet it has many of the essential capabilities required to scale up and accelerate landscape restoration such as a hands-on approach, the ability to mobilize local communities and the resources to finance on the ground projects,” Minister Biruta noted.
He reiterates the government of Rwanda’s commitment to creating a favourable environment for the private sector to engage in different landscape restoration intervention and investments adding that the Ministry of Natural Resources is taking the private sector as a vital partner to achieve the national landscape restoration targets.
Apart from private sector, Minister Biruta also calls upon the civil society including financial institutions, Energy and Water Producers, Manufacturers,Telecommunication Companies, Mining Companies, the service and industrial sector at large to integrate forestry and water investments in their plans and policies.
“We shall strive to build stronger partnership between government, development partners, the private sector and civil society in order to raise the momentum for investments in forests and water”, He underlines.
For the effective management of water resources there is Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Investment Fund which aims to facilitate Government of Rwanda investments in structural and non-structural projects for the management of Rwanda’s water resources.
Investment projects backed by the fund will concentrate on issues of importance in the context of IWRM, such as erosion control, soil conservation, land husbandry and landscape rehabilitation, flood protection, riverbank protection, water supply system rehabilitation, and waste management.
The Fund is managed by the GoR, with technical support from Water for Growth Rwanda.
Team Leader of Water for Growth Rwanda, EbelSmidt says “The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has reserved €18 million for investments which are linked to the plans identified in the four demonstration catchment areas.”
The Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, Frederique de Man clarifies that the Fund is certainly not only collaboration between Rwanda and the Netherlands.
“We welcome other partners to contribute to the fund. Most importantly, the mechanism of this Fund should succeed in triggering more private investment”
In the quest for the Green economy, Rwanda also established FONERWA as an engine of green growth in Rwanda and serves as an example for what’s possible - in Africa and around the world.
The fund invests in the best public and private projects that have the potential for transformative change and that align with Rwanda’s commitment to building a strong green economy. The Green Fund also provides expert technical assistance to ensure the success of its investments.