Rwanda has diverse habitats and ecosystems that range from humid montane forests to savannahs, lakes, rivers and wetlands which support a wide range of biodiversity. However, the Country’s biodiversity faces various threats which has led to loss of species, shrinkage in population sizes and ecosystem degradation. Rwanda’s development agenda recognizes the important and central role that biodiversity and natural resources play in terms of supporting the country’s economic growth, livelihoods as well as in the provision of critical ecosystem services such as water, soil erosion and flood control as well as climate change mitigation. Therefore, conservation of the environment and natural resources has been well integrated in country’s development blueprints such as Vision 2020 Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II); Vision 2050; and the National Strategy for Transformation (NSTI 2018-2024).

Funding for Biodiversity conservation has been limited and grossly inadequate for implementing proposed environmental activities in different sectors. The major sources of financing biodiversity conservation have been Government, development Partners and some international NGOs. Part of the reason why funding levels have been low from the various actors is due to lack of a holistic approach to financing biodiversity conservation that takes into consideration the potential of biodiversity in poverty reduction, economic development, health, and sanitation among others. There is also need to diversify funding sources and explore other mechanisms.

Key Results

By 2020, the country increased the forest cover to 30% of the total land area with the forest of 724, 695 ha (30.4%) in according to 2019 forest cover mapping report. The population of the Mountain Gorilla continue to increase and Rwanda hosts half of the existing global population (estimated at 1,004 individuals by Hickey et al. 2018). In 2021, 30 White Rhinos have been introduced in Akagera National Park after where 23 Black Rhinos in 2017 & 2019; and 11 lions have been re-introduced after 10-year absence.

There is a tremendous increase in populations of other species such as Eastern Chimpanzee, Golden Monkeys, and the Grey Crowned Cranes. And the tourism continues to grow with significant part of it being nature based.

Finance Solutions
Key documents
Policy and Institutional Review (PIR)

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. 


Expenditure Review (BER)

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. 

Needs Assessment (FNA)

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.