SA, Rwanda to enhance environmental protection

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pretoria – South Africa and Rwanda share a common concern and responsibility to enhance cooperation in the fields of environmental protection and sustainable development for present and future generations, says Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

Minister Molewa and the Minister of Natural Resources of Rwanda, Dr Vincent Biruta, recently signed an environmental cooperation agreement between the two countries.

The agreement notes that South Africa and Rwanda are aware of the regional and global nature of environmental issues and the need to find cost-effective and long-term solutions in addressing these issues through international cooperation and the importance of coordinating joint activities of the two parties.

In terms of the Agreement, South Africa and Rwanda will cooperate in the fields of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable utilisation of biological resources; protected areas management; the illegal wildlife trade; environmental monitoring, compliance and enforcement, sustainable consumption and cleaner consumption, the development of the green economy in both countries, and other areas mutually agreed upon.

Ministers Molewa and Minister Biruta met in Kigali, Rwanda, recently to discuss the significance of sustainable development in the protection and enhancement of the environment, as well as the importance of a clean environment on the health and well-being of the peoples of the two countries, and the African continent.

“In signing the Letter of Intent, the Ministers have agreed to share the commitment to implement the principles set in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development’s (UNCED) Agenda 21 developed in 1992. 

“The Ministers have also undertaken to work towards the effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development agenda through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) signed at the UN General Assembly in September 2015,” the Department of Environmental Affairs said. –


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