This was highlighted by the Minister in Charge of Emergency Management; Germaine Kamayirese during the 2019 Social Good Summit (SGS) – Kigali, on September 23rd in Mount Kenya University; Kigali Campus, under the theme “We only have one planet”. At Social Good Summit 2019, we’ll rally to save it”.
The summit was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Rwanda together with Mount Kenya University; Kigali Campus to celebrate decade of activism and tackle top issue of our time that is climate change.
Minister Kamayirese, who was the guest of honor at the summit, requested a joint pledge to find practical solutions that can help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“There is a need to join efforts to find practical solutions that can help mitigate and adapt to climate change. Changes in climate have led to wide- ranging impacts such as severe flooding, landslides, windstorms and thunderstorms, that have claimed in 2018 only, 254 lives and destroyed properties that costed billions of Rwandan Francs.”
The Minister added that economic losses were experienced at different levels: damage in infrastructure, crops and livestock; disruption of economic system in communities where people were displaced; fiscal transfer to disaster response and crowding out of other functions as for weeks’ manpower concentrated more on disaster response than any other activities.
While many of these disasters can be traced back to changes in our climate, fueled by human activity which produces carbon dioxide, methane and other powerful global warming gases, the Government of Rwanda recognizes that although disasters cannot be avoided in the short to medium term, their effects can be minimized.
At the summit, Stephen Rodriques; UNDP Rwanda Resident Representative, underscored that everyone’s commitment is essential for possible solutions to step up climate action.
“While there is a dedicated effort to address climate change in Rwanda, there are things the public and private sectors, civil society and all of us can do to reduce our impact on climate change and be prepared for its impacts. By working together and supporting each other, we can ensure Rwanda develops in a way that is sustainable for generations to come.” Rodriques said.
The 2019 summit was attended by hundreds of students of Mount Kenya University (Kigali Campus) and other representatives from government institutions, academia, civil society organisations, leaders, technology experts, young activists, investors and UN agencies.
Launched 10 years ago by Mashable, United Nations Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme, the Social Good Summit (SGS) brings together global thought leaders, new media and technology experts, grassroots activists, and influential voices from around the globe for constructive dialogue and on-stage activations.
The Social Good Summit is an annual event that takes place around the time of the UN General Assembly. It is intended to promote open discussions on different solutions that can be adopted to make the world a better place for future generations.