New law governing the Rwanda Green Fund to boost impact and efficiency

The Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) has received a boost thanks to a new law recently passed by parliament and published in the official gazette this week. The updated law determines the fund’s mission and organisation and sets out how the climate financing institution will function.

The revised law comes as the international community increasingly turns its attention to addressing climate change and donor funding reflects this new priority. As one of the world’s most climate vulnerable nations, there is a need for the Rwanda Green Fund to be structured in a way that best enables it to access climate finance and manage it well. Being climate vulnerable means that the country is likely to suffer disproportionately from the impacts of a warming planet and faces challenges in dealing with those consequences.

Since the 1970s, the average temperature in Rwanda has increased by 1.4°C. If no significant steps are taken to mitigate global climate change, it is predicted that the average temperature in Rwanda will rise by 2.5°C by the middle of the century. Rwanda is already experiencing the impacts of a warming planet, including increased and longer droughts and more frequent and severe floods leading to landslides. 

Speaking about what the law means for the fund, Coordinator Alex Mulisa said the updated legislation draws on the lessons that were learned over the first three years of the fund’s operation and that were a critical trigger for the revision of the law.

Mr Mulisa said that the institutional strengthening that comes with the revised law will help the fund to be more strategic and will accelerate the speed of decision making at the fund. He also said the law will improve the fund’s ability to seize opportunities for finance mobilisation and contribute to establishing strong identity nationally, regionally and globally for the fund.

“The new law provides the framework for the fund to be more effective in the work we do. As the institution responsible for mobilising and managing funding to protect our environment and address climate change, the recent update to the law will allow us to better support public organs, the private sector and individuals in environment protection and conservation,” he said.

Since it was established, Rwanda’s Green Fund has mobilised more than Rwf 80 billion that is being invested in 35 climate resilience and environmental protection initiatives. These investments have restored more than 14,000 hectares of watersheds and water bodies and protected more than 15,000 hectares of land against erosion. The fund has also supported tree planting on more than 31,000 hectares across the country. In terms of green growth, 15,000 households have improved access to off-grid energy, and projects financed by the fund have employed more than 120,000 people, supporting sustainable livelihood development.

Download the new law here