Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and Rwandan Natural Resources Minister Vincent Biruta have signed a cooperation agreement on environmental protection and sustainable development, the environmental affairs department said on Sunday.
Molewa and Biruta met in Kigali, Rwanda, on Thursday to discuss the significance of sustainable development in the protection and enhancement of the environment, as well as the importance of a clean environment on the health and well-being of the peoples of the two countries and the African continent, the department said in a statement.
In signing the letter of intent, the ministers agreed to share the commitment to implement the principles of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the World Summit on Sustainable Development developed in Johannesburg in 2002, and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development’s (UNCED) Agenda 21 developed in 1992.
The ministers also undertook to work towards effective implementation of the UN sustainable development agenda through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) signed at the UN General Assembly in September 2015.
The agreement noted that South Africa and Rwanda were aware of the regional and global nature of environmental issues and the need to find cost-effective and long-term solutions in addressing these issues through international co-operation and the importance of coordinating joint activities, the department said.
“South Africa and Rwanda share the common concern and responsibility to enhance cooperation in the fields of environmental protection and sustainable development for present and future generations,” said Molewa.
In terms of the agreement, South Africa and Rwanda would cooperate in the fields of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of biological resources; protected areas management; the illegal wildlife trade; environmental monitoring, compliance and enforcement; sustainable consumption and cleaner consumption; the development of the green economy in both countries; and other areas mutually agreed upon.