Implementation of the NBSAP
Rwanda developed its first NBSAP in 2003 after identifying the major threats to biodiversity conservation. The document targeted the following five major outcomes: i) improved conservation of protected areas and wetlands; ii) sustainable use of the biodiversity of natural ecosystems and agro-systems; iii) rational use of biotechnology; iv) development and strengthening of policy, institutional, legal and human resource frameworks; and v) the equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of biological resources. A good number of activities have been successfully achieved for each of the five outcomes as outlined throughout this text. Implementation gaps that remain have been identified as: inefficient coordination of activities due to a lack of key permanent staff to manage and monitor the overall program; insufficient technical capacity; insufficient linkage with other international instruments; conflicting priorities based on institutional mandates; lack of new and appropriate financing mechanisms; weak mobilization and coordination of donors; absence of both an established benefit-sharing mechanism in agro-ecosystems production and the initiation of new and stimulating incentives to protect agro-biodiversity.
The revision and updating of the NBSAP has been completed however its adoption is pending. Rwanda has developed 19 national targets which are aligned to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets
It is reported in Rwanda’s fifth national report dated March 2014 that Aichi Biodiversity Targets 11 and 17 have been fully achieved; advanced progress has been achieved in regard to Targets 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15 and 19, while low achievement is registered in regard to Targets 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 16 and 18.
Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)
Rwanda adopted a Biodiversity Policy in 2011 and a Biodiversity Law in 2013. In addition, a number of new key policies, laws and strategies have been adopted, including the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) II (2013-2018), National Climate Change and Low Carbon Development Strategy (2011), Rwanda Wildlife Policy (2013), Rwanda Protected Areas Concessions Management Policy (2013), National Forestry Policy (2010), National Policy for Water Resources Management (2011), National Energy Policy and National Energy Strategy (2008-2012), National Industrial Policy (2011), Forestry Law (2013), Protected Areas Law (2013), New Land Law (2013), Law establishing the Rwanda National Climate and Environment Fund (FONERWA) (2012), Law establishing Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (2011), Decrees for the protection of biodiversity, Payment of Ecosystems Services (PES) regulatory framework preparation, etc.
Regarding the rational use of biotechnology, the following instruments have been developed (with their adoption pending): National Biosafety Framework, including the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy, the National Biosafety Bill and related institutional framework.
Rwanda’s institutional framework for implementing the Convention has been strengthened through the establishment of the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA), Rwanda National Climate and Environment Fund (FONERWA), CBD Steering Committee, and the Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management.
Rwanda has ratified the Nagoya Protocol and is on track to develop an enabling legal and institutional framework for the implementation of the Protocol.
Capacity-building efforts to increase communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) have been implemented through, among other means, newsletters and television and radio broadcasting. Rwanda has also established a National CHM.
A process on genetic resources valuation is ongoing.
In regard to mainstreaming, ‘Rwanda Vision 2020’ provides guidance for the development of overall national policies, regulations, strategies and programmes, including those related to biodiversity conservation, with a view to ensuring sustainable development. The country also promotes a Sector Wide Approach (SWAP) for mainstreaming environmental (including biodiversity) sustainability into all development processes. Furthermore, the Green Economy Approach is one of the priorities of the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy. Since 2006, synergies have been identified in regard to projects related to implementing the 3 Rio Conventions (UNFCCC, CBD, UNCCD).
Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation
A comprehensive system for monitoring and reviewing implementation does not exist at present in Rwanda. This issue is however addressed by Rwanda’s National Target 18 which states that: “By 2020, knowledge in biodiversity status, values, causes and consequences of biodiversity loss, is enhanced, shared across the country and reflected in the implementation of the NBSAP”, which has been mapped to achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 19.
In order to address the issue of monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the NBSAP, it has been decided to create the Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management (CoE). The Centre has been established with the mandate of coordinating and monitoring all activities relevant to biodiversity conservation and management.
The National Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management will be on the front line to coordinate, oversee and monitor the cross-sectoral implementation of the NBSAP, through collaborative and partnership mechanisms with different stakeholders.