• Economic Growth and Environment

Speech by UNRC Lamin Manneh at the inauguration of Kabyaza Model Green Village

Nyakubahwa Minister wa Natural Resources, Dr. Vincent Biruta

Nyakubahwa, Governor wa (of) Western Province

Director General of Rwanda Natural Resources Authority

Mayor of the Nyabihu District

Abayobozi b’Ingabo na Police / Chief of Police and Army

Nyakubahwa Executive Secretary of Mukamira Sector

Representatives from Civil Society and Private Sector

Abaturage ba Kabyaza green village (Residents of Kabyaza)

Dear Colleagues from one UN Rwanda Family

Mwaramutse mwese.  Mbere na mbere mbanje kubashimira Nyakubahwa Minister for the invitation sent to me to be part of this important event. I am very pleased to be here with you today on behalf of One UN Rwanda and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to celebrate the inauguration of Kabyaza model green village.

First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to you Honorable Minister and to all government colleagues for these wonderful infrastructures we have visited few minutes ago. What we have seen here is not just 200 beautiful houses. There is a very strong team spirit behind what we have seen here. This great achievement is a result of working together between Government of Rwanda, Local Authorities, Kabyaza citizens, Development Partners notably UNFCCC and One UN Rwanda Family and other stakeholders.

This is not a first time for me to be part of the launch of Green Villages. Early February 2016, we celebrated the inauguration of Kibangire green village in Rusizi District. In May, we were in Gashaki green village, in Musanze District.  In July we were together again to celebrate the official inauguration of Rweru green village in Bugesera District.  And once again, today, we are closing year with inauguration of Kabyaza Model green village.

Nyakubahwa Minister,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Green Village development in Rwanda has been a practical demonstration of how to achieve pro-poor environmentally sustainable development at the community level which is considered very important to translate policy intentions into local tangible results. They also constitute an important solution to addressing the vulnerabilities of citizens in disaster prone areas as well as the constraints to effective service delivery to communities in scattered locations.  MINIRENA and affiliated agencies have facilitated the piloting of “Green” villages within the integrated implementation of mutually re-enforcing policies such as land regularization, planned rural resettlement of Imidugudu, land consolidation, crop intensification and livestock acquisition and management.

Many African countries are learning from Rwanda’s development experience and I would like to salute the leadership of HE Paul Kagame who has prioritize Integrated Development Programme for rural settlement as one of key priority intervention to meet Rwanda needs. I am quoting what was said by HE Paul Kagame, in July 2016, when we were celebrating the 22nd National liberation day and at the same time the Rweru Green village inauguration:

the next stage of our liberation is to shape our own future and liberate ourselves from any obstacle that stand in the way of our development”. We all know, how much the Government of Rwanda is committed to ensure that all Rwandans have access to decent and dignified life they are entitled to. In addition, the recent UNEP awards for environment champion underscored HE Paul Kagame as a role model amongst global leaders.  This goes especially to his initiative of ‘green village’ development as it focuses on environmental sustainability and local-level climate resilience for land use planning and development at the village level.

Nyakubahwa Minister wa Natural Resources;

Distinguished Guests,

Baturage ba Kabyaza

These comfortable houses we are inaugurating today, were constructed through the implementation of the Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change in North West Rwanda through community based adaptation project, implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources with financial support of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We all know that

Rwanda’s economy is heavily dependent on its environment and natural resources, and the livelihoods of rural (and increasingly urban) communities depend on access, use and management of limited resources. Without sound environmental management, development activities in key sectors such as agriculture, industry, infrastructure, commerce, and energy can lead to significant environmental degradation that can undermine economic growth especially in this geographical zone recognized as being at high risk of natural disaster. It is our responsibility to build resilience to that kind of vulnerability through mitigation measure like the relocation of families from high risk zone to safer land where they have access to improved infrastructures, and other opportunities.

Rwanda is one of the leading countries to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The international community notes that Rwanda provides some lessons the world can learn from. From grassroots efforts to protect important forest carbon sinks to global diplomacy efforts, Rwanda has been at the forefront of action on climate issues.
In October this year, Rwanda hosted the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, at which another historic agreement was adopted - the Kigali Amendment. This Kigali Amendment was the most significant climate mitigation step the world had taken since the ratification of the Paris Agreement.  The recent COP22 in Marrakesh looked to the Kigali Amendment and Rwanda as a model in providing tangible responses to climate change.

Nyakubahwa Minister,

At the just concluded Umushyikirano, HE President Paul Kagame relayed to the people and friends of Rwanda very encouraging news from from the UN when he noted that: “over the past generation, Rwanda has been the fastest-growing country on the United Nations’ index of human development, meaning that we are not only making progress, but doing so at a very good pace”. In this global context of domesticating sustainable development goals, there is no doubt that Rwanda will continue to lead and achieve all SDG targets. In One UN Family in Rwanda, we do believe that the construction and replication of green villages will not only be response to the country key development priorities but also to the challenges that population is faced with, which are mainly linked to climate change impacts and natural disaster.

Honorable Minister,

Ladies and gentlemen

One UN was priviledged to be associated with Green Village Development. We have already contributed to the construction of green villages in Kayonza, Rwamagana, Rubaya, Gashaki, Muyebe, Rweru, Kibangire and the interventions in this area of sustainable rural development will continue.

I believe you all agree with me that this ceremony is one of the best ways to close the 2016 with impactful results. We are foreseeing a prosperous year of 2017 for the Residents of Kabyaza model green village by handing them the keys of the new and improved houses constructed in safe area, which is free from natural

disasters. I would like to ask the Residents of Kabyaza to look after these houses and other associated facilities to maximize the benefits but also to provide a very good maintenance. The houses and infrastructures we are inaugurating today; future generations should benefit from them. This is to remind you that they should be kept in good shape.

While concluding, I would like to reiterate that ONE UN family in Rwanda has always been a committed partner of Government of Rwanda in this journey towards achieving sustainable development.  We salute the exemplary leadership of HE President Paul Kagame and wish him continued good health. We would also like to recommend Minister Biruta and his entire team for great achievement. We remain firmly committed to contribute to achieving these inclusive economic and green transformation for every Rwandan.

MBIFURIJE UMWAKA MWIZA / I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2017.