Cape Town - With 2017 being the year of Sustainable and Responsible Tourism, there could be no better time for South African to push forward with its commitment to a greener future, both for the country and continent at large.
As a result the department of environmental affairs has confirmed Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Eda Molewa, and the Minister of Natural Resources of the Republic of Rwanda, Dr Vincent Biruta, have signed an environmental cooperation agreement between the two countries.
Molewa and Biruta met in Kigali, Rwanda, on 16 June 2017 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.
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In terms of the Agreement, South Africa and Rwanda will cooperate in:
- the fields of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable utilisation 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
The DEA says in signing the Letter of Intent, the Ministers have agreed to share the commitment to implement the principles set of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development’s (UNCED) Agenda 21 developed in 1992.
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“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,” says Molewa.
The Minister added that cooperation with regard to environmental protection is of mutual benefit, and enhances the friendly relations between the two countries.
Molewa has also undertaken to work towards the 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 notes that South Africa and Rwanda are "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 cooperation and the importance of coordinating joint activities of the two Parties".
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