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Rwanda and Italy have renewed a partnership that will see the two countries strengthen bilateral cooperation on sustainable development. The memorandum of understanding was signed on November 12, 2021 by Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, and Italy’s Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, on the sidelines of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Through the agreement, Rwanda and Italy will work together to adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce emissions and foster resilience in the face of rising temperatures and extreme weather events. These efforts will support implementation of each country’s NDC climate action plans under the Paris Agreement.

The two countries will also collaborate on the collection, analysis and dissemination of data on the impact of climate change, and improve risk assessment and disaster management. Given the strong linkages between the climate crisis and biodiversity crisis, the agreement will also see Rwanda and Italy work together to protect biodiversity and reduce environmental degradation.

Recognising the important role that forests play in the response to climate change, the agreement will support both countries to promote sustainable forestry management. The countries also agreed to work together on the sustainable management of land and of water resources.

Rwanda and Italy pledged to strengthen ties in terms of the sharing of knowledge and education around environmental issues and climate change. They recognised the importance of knowledge-sharing and technology transfer, and of the mainstreaming of public education and awareness campaigns related to climate change to strengthen public participation in environmental initiatives and embed good practices in both countries.

Finally, the memorandum identifies priority sectors as key beneficiaries of the partnership between Italy and Rwanda. In particular, the development of the circular economy and the expansion of sustainable waste management systems, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency were highlighted.

Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, said: “Rwanda and Italy enjoy a strong partnership on environmental protection. This new partnership builds on the shared commitments to a carbon-neutral and climate resilient future, and signals a deepening of environmental collaboration between our two nations. It has come at the right time when both countries are determined to go back and implement COP26 resolutions. It’s time for action and this partnership will enable us to turn words into action.”

Italy’s Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, said:

“We are extremely pleased to have renewed our agreement with Rwanda to cooperate in the fields of addressing vulnerability to climate change, risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation. This agreement takes on an even more significant value in this moment of profound attention on the social, economic and environmental challenges faced and the need to involve young people from the most vulnerable countries, as well as the establishment of “Youth4Climate,” which was launched by Italy.”

The new memorandum of understanding between Italy and Rwanda follows a previous five year agreement, which concluded on 11 November 2021.

Source: The Ministry of Environment

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