The New Times (Rwanda): UNEP Commends Environmental Policy
Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Rose Mukankomeje, made it clear that “that the country is “going green” in all sectors of the economy, from schools to agricultural activities and towns.” This all encompassing effort is formally expressed in Rwanda’s latest constitution which includes an amendment which serves as a “new organic law on the environment—article 3, which stipulates that every person has the right to live under a safe and clean environment.” President Paul Kagame has also made an effort to emphasize the importance of sustainable development as a key element to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The Rwandan government has taken a holistic view of environmental sustainability noting that all long-term development efforts have a relationship with the environment. This view has necessitated that efforts to protect the environment has been a major priority.
While the will to improve the quality of the environment exists in many African countries Rwanda has proven that if the will exists, development and environmental sustainability can be a reality.
1. Do you think that the attempt to develop in an environmentally friendly way puts Rwanda at an advantage or disadvantage? Why?
2. Do you think the environmental damage caused by civil war contributed to Rwanda’s commitment to protecting its natural resources?
3. Do you think some development should take place, even if it harms the environment or uses unrenewable resources, to provide people with basic needs (i.e. food, shelter, water, electricity, etc.)? Where would you draw the line?