22 November 2017

Rwanda, Canada in New Environmental Protection Deal

Minister of Environment Vincent Biruta and Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna on Monday signed in Montreal an agreement on environmental management that will see both countries work together to fight climate change.

As part of the deal, the two countries will share best practices and lessons learned, and will partner on capacity building and training to accelerate sustainable development, according to Minister Biruta.

"This Memorandum of understanding is a way to put into action what we have agreed (in as far as) reaching the targets of Paris Agreement and other international conventions on climate change. So we can work together and make sure that programe is implemented and show the way to others," Biruta said shortly after the signing of the deal, to which his Canadian counterpart agreed by emphasizing that "we are going to do that."

"Proud to announce today that the #RwandaGov and the Canada will work together for the @ActionClimatique and the protection of the environment," Minister McKenna tweeted.

She added that, "Climate change is a global problem requiring an international solution."

The deal will focus on climate change, green economy, sustainable urban wetland management and environmental compliance and enforcement.

"We have a huge opportunity to work together," McKenna added.

This agreement, observers say, comes as a great boost to the already existing collaborations in Climate Action between the two countries that are also united by the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

While the Kigali Amendment seeks to eliminate Hydrofluorocarbons, the greenhouse chemicals better known as HFCs-that usually used in refrigerators and Air conditioners, among other coolants-which are blamed for heating up the planet, Montreal Protocol is a broader treaty is designed to protect the ozone layer.

It has been a busy week for both environment ministers and activists who have just came out of global climate Change meeting (COP23) in Bonn, Germany.

In Bonn, the landmark Kigali Amendment which took seven years of negotiations and kept parties to the Montreal Protocol awake in Kigali Convention Centre's main auditorium for 24hours was cleared to enter into force.

Sweden became the 20th country that led in ratifying the historical Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which meant that that the Amendment meets the threshold for the agreement to enter into force at the earliest possible date, according to the treaty: January 1, 2019.

Minister Biruta is currently in Montreal where he is leading a Rwanda delegation that is taking part in the 29th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol, also known as MOP29.

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