Durban COP17 December 2011 (UNFCCC 2011). The World held its breath for a global commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to steady human-induced climate change. During the proceedings, one unique country, Rwanda, set fourth its ambitious national strategy for charting a green growth and climate resilient future.
The mountainous central African nation of Rwanda (refer map 2009) is one of the World’s least developed countries with one of the highest population densities, and is notably one of the lowest emitters of Green House Gases (GHGs). Rwanda is an early mover in tackling its economy’s exposure to external oil prices and commodity market fluctuations at a time its development and investment growth is expanding. Rwanda’s appetite for greater access to energy, resources and land is rapidly increasing at full crescendo.
To achieve Rwanda’s ambitions, to transform to a prosperous, food secure, knowledge based economy, the Government has embarked on a low carbon development path that works to address renewable energy access and use, resource efficiency and climate resilience. Central to this strategy is optimal use of land. Rwanda’s land size is just 26,338 sq km for a population of 11 million increasing at nearly 2.8 per cent per annum. Urbanisation is increasing at 4.4 per cent, and agricultural production contributes more than 36.7 per cent of export earnings. Pressure on land is extremely high.
Key to Rwanda’s success, the landlocked and populous nation is rapidly establishing an integrated approach to planning its urban and rural environments, finalising land tenure reforms, and improving land information systems to support these activities. This paper brings to light Rwanda’s national green growth and climate resilience strategy. It provides a glimpse into Rwanda’s broad achievements in sustainable land use management that are regional and African continent best practice, and provides lessons of guidance for other emerging nations setting upon a course of low carbon development and climate change resilience. Readers are encouraged to explore the national strategy and supporting sector working papers from which this paper draws.
Authors and Publishers
FIG is the premier international organization representing the interests of surveyors worldwide. It is a federation of the national member associations and covers the whole range of professional fields within the global surveying community. It provides an international forum for discussion and development aiming to promote professional practice and standards.
The LAND Project is a five year program supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Its primary goal is strengthening the resilience of Rwandan citizens, communities and institutions and their ability to adapt to land-related economic, environmental and social changes.