The ministry of natural resources (Minirena) has presented to the parliament's lower chamber committee on budget and national patrimony, its achievement for the fiscal year 2011-2012 and the activity plan for the next fiscal year 2012-2013 and resources required to implement it.
Recalling the mandate of the ministry which consists of developing sustainable capacities to ensure that the environment and natural resources are utilized and managed productively, Minister Stanislas Kamanzi presented the ongoing land registration activity.
He said that Minirena carried out systematic land registration, helped with field teams in all the 30 districts, and over 10,272,169 parcels have been demarcated and adjudicated by the end of May 2012.
In addition, 3,647,857 land leasehold certificates have been approved for issuance and the law related to land use planning and development was passed by parliament in March this year.
For Minister Kamanzi, the main benefit is that everyone will have a legal certificate for his own land. "This goes with the legal authority that one has on his land and it helps us solve easily the land-based conflicts."
The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), for which Minirena is the line ministry, in the last fiscal year has focused on rehabilitation of lakes, development plans of national parks' management and training different people on mainstreaming climate change.
"The mainstreaming of environment and climate change at school level was initiated in 59 schools out of 46 targeted through the school greening project," said REMA's DG, Dr Rose Mukankomeje.
According to the official, more than 5000 farmers have been trained on chemicals use and awareness on the management of pesticides and toxic industrial chemicals has been raised. "We want Rwandans to be aware of those chemicals which can harm their lives," she said.
Environment and climate change as next focus
Resources allocated to Minirena for the fiscal year 2012/13 is worth Frw 15,169,158,039 with environment and climate change management as a key priority.
"We must reduce Rwanda's vulnerability to climate change by developing an early warning system for vulnerable regions," declared Minister Kamanzi, highlighting the northern and western zones of country.
Commenting on the action plan presented to her committee, Constance Rwaka Mukayuhi, the chairperson noted that environmental care is not the sole responsibility of Minirena. She explained it is a crosscutting issue which has to be owned by all stakeholders especially in agriculture, infrastructure and energy.
"We need joint effort for a wise use of our natural resources so that we make sure the satisfaction of the current needs are not compromising the needs for our future generations," she said
Concerning land use, the committee members recommended a shift to implementation of activities designed for the master plan of land use. They also stressed the protection of natural resources in the country when it comes to disasters that affect land.
Committee member Abbas Mukama observed that the current trend of floods and landslides the country is facing, are the results of improper management of the land resources. He therefore recommended a clear strategy in that matter.