NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

Charcoal Project Launched in Rwanda

Photo: LAFREC Project
Photo: LAFREC Project
From right: Coletha RUHAMYA, Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Prime NGABONZIZA, Director General, Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA)

The country looks to improve the management of forests and search for alternative sources of fuel.

Rwandan officials have called for strong collaboration between all stakeholders to ensure that efficient alternative sources of energy are found and wood fuels are utilized efficiently. They were speaking in Kigali last week during the launch of the “Improving the Efficiency and Sustainability of Charcoal and Wood Fuel Value Chains’ project.
While speaking at the ceremony, the Minister for Environment, Hon. Vincent Biruta, called for concerted efforts to improve the management of woodlots to increase forests, increase productivity and their long-term sustainability. “Forests in Rwanda provide 86% of primary energy source mainly as cooking energy for households and industries like tea factories; the forests form the base for the country’s tourism opportunities, protects watersheds and downstream wetlands and support agriculture, among other things,” Minister Biruta said. Speaking of the new project, he said: “We believe that this project we have launched today -together with LAFREC Project- will contribute highly to achieving the country’s target of having a better and sound environment, increasing forest cover, increasing resilience of communities to climate change as well as improving the welfare of our population.”
The “Improving the Efficiency and Sustainability of Charcoal and Wood Fuel Value Chains” is financed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) through the World Bank. It will focus on North-Western Rwanda in the Gishwarti-Mukura landscape with a possibility to extend to other parts of the country. The project’s total budget is 3 382 000 euros (approximately 3.5 billion Rwandan francs). This NDF grant will benefit the Landscape Approach to Forest Restoration and Conservation (LAFREC) Project implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).
Martina Jägerhorn, NDF Country Program Manager said: “We have been following the work of the LAFREC Project with interest because it is a very successful Project. That is why it is a pleasure for NDF to join the implementation of this project. With this project, we are supporting a holistic approach for the benefit of the low-income people. Second, we hope these investments will lead to future investments building from good experiences from LAFREC Project. We are hopeful that we will continue to collaborate in the future on tackling climate change and we hope that everyone will contribute to making this project a success.”
NDF will support the National Seed Centre in order to improve and diversify the tree seed pool. The final part of the project will target commercial tea factories' wood consumption and households’ cooking needs through analysis and promotion of sustainable alternatives. “We are very grateful for the continued trust and support from our partners. This kind of strong multilateral collaboration is enabling us to achieve our agenda of a better and properly managed environment,” observed Eng. Coletha RUHAMYA, Director General of REMA. “This grant will allow us to contribute more to increasing forest cover, improving wood fuel value chains, improving the quality of our tree seeds, creating jobs, increasing our country’s resilience to climate change and improving socio-economic welfare,” Eng. RUHAMYA added.
Some of the key activities that will be financed under the grant agreement include improved woodlot management, improved tree seeds quality, efficient charcoal production and promotion of alternative sources of energy. The woodlot management part of the project will encompass forests in Gishwati-Mukura landscape. Building upon existing plans and training, the NDF-funded activities will initiate local-level planning of existing woodlots to improve management and increase productivity. The project components also include strengthening cooperatives to improve charcoal production techniques as well as the value, quality and marketing of the charcoal produced.

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