Rwanda is a small land-locked country in East Africa, covering 26,33 Km2. It is known as the "Land of a thousand hills" because of its undulating terrain. The country's ecosystem is diversified, ranging from from Afro-montane to lowland forests, savannah grasslands and wetlands. Habitats around volcanic hot springs and old lava flows, lakes and wetland contain rich species. A considerable proportion of Rwanda's economy is based directly and indirectly on environmental resources. Rwanda projects that "by 2040, national biodiversity will be restored and conserved, contributing to economic prosperity and human well-being through delivering benefits essential for Rwandan society in general".
The Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR) has been completed and it reviewed the challenges and opportunities surrounding the current status and potential trajectories of Rwanda's biodiversity and ecosystem finance context. The objective of this report was to analyze the adequacy of current policies, the existence of policy gaps, the translation of policies into practice, the role of the broader policy environment in influencing existing practices, the roles, responsibilities, and institutional framework to finance and manage biodiversity and existing finance mechanisms, important subsidies, laws, and trends around biodiversity finance.
The Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER) in Rwanda examined that from 2011-2017, biodiversity related expenditure accounted for for only 0.5% to 0.9% of the total central government budget, on average external sources of funds have were 56 percent while the domestic resources allocation accounted for 44 percent. The combined aid dependency, fluctuations in biodiversity expenditures, and low biodiversity mainstreaming in the natural resource sector create high uncertainty in future biodiversity finance and management in Rwanda.
The Finance Needs for implementing Rwanda's NBSAPII were estimated over two timelines; 2018/2019 to 2023/24 in line with the National Strategy for Transformation 1 (NST1), and 2018/19 to 2029/30 in line with the SDGs. The estimated cost of implementing the prioritised activities in the NBSAP is between RWF 82.6 to 91.2 billion (equivalent to $97.5 and 107.7 million) for the period 2018/19 - 2023/24 (SDGs timeframe) and RWF 37.5 to 41.0 billion (equivalent to $ 31.8 to 33.9 million) for the period 2018/19 - 2013/24 (NST1 timeframe). The distribution of projected costs showed that the capital costs are 5% higher than recurrent costs, with recurrent costs requiring 46% of the budget while capital expenditures requiring 54% of the budget. This is not in line with Government's strategy to have higher capital investments recurrent expenditures for biodiversity.
The Biodiversity Finance Plan for Rwanda is currently being developed. As a country that has experienced fluctuations in biodiversity expenses and low biodiversity mainstreaming in the natural resource sector, the Biodiversity Finance Plan will produce steps to implement a mix of finance solutions in order to expand and improve the country's biodiversity finance and achieve national biodiversity targets.