Kigali, 12 February, 2019 – Participants from 14 East African countries are meeting in Rwanda for a four day Expanded Constituency Workshop, organized by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the largest public funder of environmental protection projects.
The workshop which will run until Friday February 15 brings together government representatives, civil society, development partners from Eastern Africa Constituency countries to discuss on strategies, policies and funding procedures as well as sharing experiences on impacts of various implemented programs.
The Eastern Africa constituency is made of Rwanda alongside with other countries of the region including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
While opening the workshop, the Minister of Environment Dr. Vincent Biruta commended the vital contribution of the Global Environment facility for improving natural environment, protection of biodiversity, addressing climate change as well as responding to land degradation among others environment issues.
According to the minister, such regional cooperation is key towards addressing environmental challenges that countries and communities are facing.
“Rwanda is a big believer in the power of regional cooperation and multilateralism to advance shared interests. When it comes to environmental issues, we know that borders and passports are not barriers for the challenges we face” noted the minister.
“That’s why it is an honour for Rwanda to host representatives from 14 countries across Eastern Africa. By working together and speaking with one voice, we can better advance our common interests”, Minister Biruta highlighted.
The GEF Director of Strategy and Operations Ms. Francoise Clottes thanked the Government of Rwanda for hosting the GEF expanded Constituency Workshop and requested continued support to ensure realization and success of GEF impact programs.
In the Eastern Africa region, close to one billion dollars has been invested by the GEF in initiatives covering biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, sustainable forest management, international waters and waste and chemical management.
On February 14, which is the 3rd day of the workshop, participants will also have an opportunity to visit some activities GEF funded projects in order to share knowledge and experiences of their impacts in Rwanda. They will visit two running projects; ECOSAN fertilizer research center and aquaponics in Bigesera District.
The Global Environment Facility was established in 1992 to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental problems. GEF intervenes in the areas of biodiversity, land degradation, climate change, international waters and pollution.