Nearly four years after its founding, the environment and climate change investment fund (FONERWA) has created projects that now employ almost 60,000 people.
Bright Ntare, the Fund’s programme manager, told The New Times that, to-date, Green Fund investments have restored more than 8,500 hectares of watersheds and water bodies and protected almost 13,000 hectares of land against erosion.
Ntare said: “The Fund has also supported tree planting and agro forestry on more than 21,000 hectares across the country. In terms of green growth, 6,807 households have improved access to off-grid energy.
“Projects funded by Green Fund are employing almost 60,000 people, supporting sustainable livelihood development in all corners of the country.”
FONERWA, the largest of its kind in Africa, is the engine of green growth in the country. It invests in public and private projects that have the potential for transformative change and that align with Rwanda’s commitment to building a strong green economy.
The Green Fund provides expert technical assistance to ensure the success of its investments.
Every six months, the Fund carries out a formalised process of public calls for proposals (CFPs). During a one month window of opportunity, applicants submit their project concepts, known as Project Profile Documents (PPDs), developed according to pre-established criteria.
The proposals are then taken through a rigorous screening process overseen by the Fund management team before funding decisions are made by a fund managing committee.
Ninth call for proposals
Last week, the Green Fund called on ministries, government agencies, districts, private sector, academic institutions and civil society to submit funding proposals for initiatives that promote mainstreaming of environmental protection, climate change and green growth.
In this ninth call for proposals, the Fund is targeting projects and programmes developed primarily in line with key sectors of the economy, including agriculture, energy, transport, environment, urban and rural settlement and water and sanitation.
The Fund seeks applications that propose green and climate resilient initiatives that will improve the performance and sustainability of a given sector.
Ntare said: “The Fund considers all sizes of funding applications, and assesses the investment amount on a case-by-case basis.
“Over the last three years, we have made investments in climate resilience to the value of Rwf450 million up to Rwf3 billion per project.”
The call for funding proposals is open from August 15 until September 14, with interested parties requested to submit applications, online, through the fund’s website at www.fonerwa.org.
Among the criteria for consideration will be the involvement of multiple stakeholders in developing a project or programme including public, private, NGOs as well as academic and research institutions.
Collaborative effort, it is noted, must specify the role of each partner and must adhere to the core principles of national planning by sector working groups.
The coordinator of the Green Fund, Alex Mulisa, said Rwanda can only build climate change resilience and develop sustainably if everyone is on board and working together.
“Climate mainstreaming is about ensuring that the environment and climate change are at the core of our development plans, policies and strategies. We want to invest in initiatives that bring all stakeholders to the table to incorporate sustainability and green growth into a sector’s development,” he said.
“By bringing everyone on board, we know the return on investment for Rwanda’s socio-economic development and natural environment will be immense.”
Over the last three years, the Green Fund has mobilised $100 million for climate resilience initiatives.
To-date, the Fund has approved 33 investments that help Rwanda reduce its carbon footprint and adapt to a warmer planet.