Rwanda’s Fund for the Environment and Climate Change, FONERWA (DFID)

FONERWA header

DFID-funded support to Rwanda’s Fund for the Environment and Climate Change, FONERWA (2012 – 2015)

FONERWA group photoIn 2012 the Government of Rwanda established FONERWA as a cross-sectoral financing mechanism to achieve the development objective of environmentally sustainable, climate resilient and green economic growth. The Fund – a ground breaking initiative and the biggest of its kind in Africa – was officially launched by Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi in October 2014.

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What is FONERWA?

FONERWA is the vehicle in Rwanda through which environment and climate change finance is channelled, programmed, disbursed and monitored. As a national Basket Fund, FONERWA is an instrument to facilitate direct access to international environment and climate finance, as well as to streamline and rationalise external aid and domestic finance. Access to the Fund is open to line ministries and districts, charitable and private entities, including businesses, civil society and research institutions.

What role did CIDT play?

Under the DFID-funded Fund Management Team support project, CIDT provided technical assistance and capacity building for FONERWA, working towards on-going sustainability of the Fund (beyond initial capitalisation). The Fund was developed in close collaboration with Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and the Ministry of Finance (MINECOFIN).

The Centre seconded a full-time staff member to Rwanda as programme manager, and by October 2012 a strong team of six Rwandan and international experts was recruited. CIDT’s capacity development approach was to transfer operational skills from international experts to the national Fund Management Team , through training and on-the-job coaching and mentoring. A Fund management office was established in the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, reporting quarterly to DFID.

In 2013 the Centre’s team established the Fund website and ran workshops across the Government of Rwanda to raise awareness of the Fund. An online platform was set up to support the complex fund application process. Two governance committees – the Fund technical committee and Fund management committee – were established to provide strong external scrutiny and authorise commitment of project finances. Once the Fund was operational and fully capitalised (by the UK’s International Climate Fund, ICF and Germany’s Development Bank KFW), Rwanda started to finance climate change interventions to support the country’s national development agenda. The focus of the Centre’s work shifted to operationalising the Fund through quarterly calls for project proposals from public and private sector beneficiaries.

Key to the Fund’s success has been ensuring that capacity exists to access the Fund, within both the public and private sector. Potential beneficiaries must understand how climate finance works, how to scope eligible projects and how to structure successful proposals. The first call for proposals to the Fund generated over 800 applications, indicating high national demand. The most promising project concepts were selected and applicants received technical support to develop fully costed project documents. In 2013 the first projects were approved and funds committed.

In 2014 the Centre received a one-year programme extension from DFID to support fund institutionalisation by the Government of Rwanda.   During this extension year CIDT worked to develop Fund systems to monitor and evaluate implementing projects, and to build organisational capacity and systems necessary for the team of consultants to evolve into the GoR FONERWA Secretariat.

Delegates at FONERWA launch

CIDT historic engagement in Rwanda

Prior to the FONERWA programme, the Centre had been engaged in supporting DFID Rwanda since 2004, firstly assisting DFID internal planning to agree their approach to development assistance in Rwanda. Thereafter the Centre embarked on a challenging assignment to assist the Rwandan government to define ministry targets under the Government’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, with a staff member seconded to the Ministry of Finance from 2007-2009.

In 2012, the Centre was successful in a highly competitive international tendering process and awarded a further £2.5m contract by DFID to support the operationalisation of FONERWA over a further three years (DFID Project Reference number PO5911.

FONERWA, a fund to finance a green resilient Rwanda

This video gives a great overview of the context in which FONERWA has been set up, some of the projects and impact that it is already having.

President Kagame speaks on climate change panel

The President shares the story of establishing the first national fund for environment and climate change. View full article at The New Times website.

“Nations should not choose between the environment and prosperity”

President Paul Kagame

Key FONERWA statistics

fonerwa statistics

The above image contains key FONERWA statistics. Download the FONERWA launch brochure to see more details. 

FONERWA-funded projects

The real result of the Fund will be the successful implementation of its strong pipeline of climate change projects, with over 20 projects approved by the fund management committee. Although it is early days, some results are already emergingWe have featured a few projects below. For more see the FONERWA website.

Send a Cow Rwanda

Rooftop rainwater harvesting in high-density areas

The targeted Districts are recurrently threatened by flooding. Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is identified among other mitigating measures. Four types of interventions are proposed in this project according to category of beneficiaries:

  1. Strengthening the existing loan scheme on RWH facilities;
  2. Supporting a subsidy & loan system basing on Ubudehe categorization;
  3. Disseminating very low cost (artisan) RWH techniques for rural poor households;
  4. Constructing RWH systems for selected public buildings and integrated collective household systems.
Rooftop rainwater

Send A Cow Rwanda: Sustainable Land Management and Environmental Rehabilitation

Working with 600 vulnerable households, SACR will build capacity to tackle major environmental challenges including: soil erosion, vital soil nutrient depletion, deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices and energy sources. Over a period of 3 years, project interventions will ensure sustainable land management, renewable energy provision and environmental rehabilitation. Coupled with expert training, households will receive livestock to provide a source of animal protein, income as well as manure for composting and organic fertilizer, as well as energy through use of biogas digesters.

Rwanda

Integrated land, water resources and clean energy management toward poverty reduction project

The Integrated Land and Water Management Project aiming sustainable management and conservation of Natural Resources, more productive agriculture, contribution to reduction of human pressure on Volcanoes National Park (VNP) and reduction of green gases emission through protecting watershed at 1400ha, 50km of ravines/rivers, create 1000ha buffer zone of VNP, 2 green model villages, 1000 improved stoves and 50 biogas, control water hyacinth at 60ha and 1680 jobs created.