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FEATURE: CDKN at COP17 – Experiences from Rwanda’s Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy

Highlights from the official COP17 side event:

Making climate compatible development happen: experiences from Rwanda.  7 December 2011, Durban.

On 14 October 2011 Rwanda’s Cabinet approved the country’s Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy. This ambitious Strategy focuses on socio-economic development, instead of purely adaptation and mitigation, and aims to ensure the future prosperity of every Rwandan citizen. The Strategy was supported by CDKN and the UK Department for International Development, and developed by the Smith School of Entreprise and Environment. At CoP17, the Strategy was presented to an international audience for the first time.

Speakers during the event included:

  • Stanislaw Kamanzi, Minister of Environment, Government of Rwanda on the objectives of Rwanda’s Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy

  • Rose Mukankomeje,  Director General, Office of the Environment, Government of Rwanda on how gender issues are cross-cutting in Rwanda’s Green Growth Strategy and the interventions proposed will benefit women

A CDKN-sponsored documentary film, outlining Rwanda’s prospects in a changing climate and its proposed climate compatible development solutions, was launched at the side event. The film, titled ‘Rwanda: Emerging in a Changing Climate‘ was written directed and produced by John D Liu of the Environmental Education Media Project.

The film, and the whole event, provided a great example of a country putting ‘climate compatible development’ into practice without a global deal; an experience that can inspire and inform others, internationally. It also raised questions about what could be achieved a country level when climate finance is available.

Rwanda, one of the lowest emitters in the world and a place where temperatures are rising faster than the global average, is modernising fast at a time when the world has realised the negative impact that humans are having on the environment. Ministers across government collectively expressed a vision of how the country could connect its economic growth with restoring its ecology and increasing its resilience to climate change.

Discussion at the event touched on whether CDKN’s role in mobilising the best available expertise and knowledge could be a new way of ‘doing aid’. This model of assistance has helped Rwanda on the road to ‘leapfrogging’ dirtier, soon-to-be obsolete technologies and routes to growth.  There is, however, still much work to be done in the coming years to realise the strategy with concrete actions.

Image: Juliette, Rwanda. Courtesy DFID.



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