Biodiversity: Nature based solutions for climate resilience in Rwanda
This COP27 side event will showcase Rwanda’s achievements in using Nature-based Solutions for climate resilience. It will provide an opportunity for different partners, including the private sector, NGOs and CSOs, to understand how far Rwanda is in implementing the best practices for Nature-based solutions for climate resilience and where the support from different partners is still needed.
Photo: Andrew Molo on Unsplash
Rwanda has diverse habitats and ecosystems that range from humid montane forests to savannahs, lakes, rivers and wetlands which support a wide range of biodiversity. However, the country’s biodiversity faces various threats which has led to loss of species, shrinkage in population sizes and ecosystem degradation. Agroecosystems constitute a large part of the country and can greatly contribute to biodiversity and ecosystem services if well managed. Ecosystems under park management status are well maintained but others are more or less degraded, losing their ecological functions, which are critical for Rwandan’s well-being and economic prospects.
Every year, in different parts of Rwanda, natural disasters such as drought, floods and ensuing landslides result in loss of life, damage to infrastructure, property and crops, soil erosion and water pollution. Additionally, small but incremental climate changes negatively affect water resources, agricultural production, biodiversity, human health, fish and forestry and other vulnerable ecosystems, with further impacts the economy.
The country has demonstrated a commitment to the conservation of biodiversity resources and the ecosystems that support it which has been captured at the highest policy level. Rwanda was the first country in Africa to submit its revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) on the Paris Agreement, and it developed its first National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) as part of meeting its obligations to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Nature-based Solutions provide multiple benefits in terms of poverty alleviation through livelihood opportunities, carbon storage and biodiversity conservation. They are one of the most effective pro-poor approaches to climate change adaptation by way of enhancing the adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable communities – especially women, the elderly and children – as well as the resilience of ecosystems and their services (freshwater, food security, climate regulation, etc.) through restoration of natural capital and biodiversity conservation, restoration and/or regeneration measures.
The speaker at this event will include representatives of the Rwanda Ministry of Environment, Rwanda Environment Management Authority, African Wildlife Foundation, World Bank, UNDP, and IUCN.