Rwanda has renewed commitment towards increasing investment in conservation that will see the establishment of a biodiversity funding facility soon.
It’s a pledge that was made in Kigali, May 23 at the celebration of the international day for Biodiversity under the theme “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity.”
The theme reminds governments and partners to move beyond the agreement and take concrete steps to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) shows that in 2010, there was a Convention on Biological Diversity which was adopted during the 10th meeting in Japan. At that time, leaders agreed on the biodiversity framework, but in reality, from 2011 to 2020, biodiversity decline continued, and none of the targets were achieved.
“Governments need to guarantee the additional investment in nature every year for the framework to succeed. Financial resources from all sources must be increased to at least USD 200 billion per year. New and additional financing is urgently needed; private, public, and philanthropic finance should be mobilized,” Kaori Yasuda, IUCN Rwanda Country Representative said.
She stated that as governments recover from the post-COVID and other economic shocks, they need to ensure that stimulus investments do no additional harm to nature, and should direct at least 10% of the overall recovery investment to protecting and restoring nature.
On a global level, there is a demand to raise $824billion to conserve biodiversity. A Special Trust Fund (“GBF Fund”) is yet to be established under the Global Environment Facility.
Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya says that the country is making progress in putting in place a biodiversity framework, policy, and law and upcoming biodiversity safety law.
Mujawamariya stated that there is a country commitment to restoring 2 million hectares of landscape and to recover wetlands (five in Kigali). This is in addition to already recovered three national parks and reserves.
“I am confident that with our collective efforts, we can achieve the goals of the Global Biodiversity Framework, and restore our planet’s biodiversity. Let us all commit to playing our part in protecting biodiversity,” Mujawamariya said.
A plan by the Rwanda Green Growth Fund (GGF) to establish a biodiversity funding facility is one of the mechanisms that is expected to make these efforts work.
According to Teddy Mugabo, the GGF Chief Executive Officer, the fund will be open to the private sector and not limited to biodiversity but to all conservation initiatives.
The Director, Policy and Partnerships for Africa at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Michel Masozera suggested that the private sector partnerships and investments should consider consistent scientific research and data collection on other living species and sectors such as agriculture besides focusing on protected areas.