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23 October 2020

Planning for Environment and climate change by national governments in terms of budgetary allocations can be enhanced by mainstreaming tools like the expenditure reviews, budget guidelines and checklists. Environment and climate change public expenditure reviews provide critical information to government planners and budget officers on increasing budgetary allocations towards environment and climate activities.

Every fiscal year, PEA Rwanda conducts an assessment for Environment & Climate change (integration & Budget Expenditures). The recent assessments were for fiscal years 2017/18 (conducted in 2019) and 2018/19 (conducted in 2020). The 2017/2018 assessment showed a slight increase in overall mainstreaming of environment and climate change from 51.3% in 2016-2017 to 57.8% in 2017-2018 (figure 1). On the other hand, the 2018/19 assessment showed a reduction (-5.3%) in the overall integration of environment and climate from 57.8% in 2017/18 to 52.5% in 2018/19 fiscal year, The reduction was mainly due to the fact that Institutions were transiting from EDPRS 1 to NST1 and even the sectoral and district development strategies were not yet complete to guide the 2018/19 planning process. With regard to budget allocated and expenditure on environment and climate change execution increased slightly low (0.2%) from 2.7% in 2016-2017 to 2.9% in 2017-2018 but then decreased to 2.6% (2019/20).

This information is important in guiding government on planning for environment and climate change priorities especially at district level. For instance, both the two reports indicate the need for multi-sectoral coordination and appropriate use of existing tools including checklist & Budget statement to enhance both mainstreaming and expenditure in poverty-environment objectives. PEA Rwanda used this information from expenditure reviews together with technical advisory to support government in mainstreaming environment and climate change in government’s budget guidelines and checklists that guide sectors and districts’ planning. This enhances alignment between plans and budget allocations as well as better monitoring of environmental sustainability and climate-related expenditure.

The expenditure reviews also include annexes of mainstreaming tools developed by which include environment and climate change budget statement and the sector specific checklists and guidelines for the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 respectively. These tools have been used to train government planners on mainstreaming poverty-environment and climate objectives in the subsequent annual plans. For instance, in 2019 planners from 16 sectors and 30 districts were trained on how to use the checklist while preparing their annual action plans for the subsequent year. Using budget allocation and expenditure information from previous years enables government planner at national, sectoral and district levels to allocate adequate resources to environment and climate change activities as well as to effectively utilize the resources allocated. These tools have also been the integration path for other national and international commitments including but not limited to National determined contributions (NDCs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). NDCs indicators and key SDGs environment related indicators have been integrated in the existing PEA checklist as one single tool to influence the national planning and budgeting process.