In 1989 the government created the Environment and Development Project in the Ministry of Planning, which later became the National Environment Unit, a springboard for the establishment of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MINETO) in 1992, the duties of which included, among others, the coordination of all environment related activities carried out by different ministries.
It should also be pointed out that during the same year, Rwanda took part in the Rio de Janeiro World Earth Summit and institutionalised the National Environment Week, which was in addition to other initiatives such as the establishment of the Office National de la Population (1981), the Tree Day (1980), the Water Day (22nd March), the Meteorology Day (23rd March), the Biodiversity Day (22nd May), etc. 1992 was marked by the drafting of the Law on Environment. The 1994 genocide and massacres brought to a standstill the initiatives that had been launched, and they were revived by the Government of National Union.
In 1996, the National Agenda 21 and the National Environment Strategy and Action Plan were updated. Following the Government reshuffles of 28th March 1997 and 8th February 1999, Environment was successively placed under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Breeding, Environment and Rural Development and the Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Environment, the principal mission of which was to formulate the policy and the law relating to the protection of the Environment.
In 2001, the Ministry was strengthened by the establishment of a Minister of State responsible for the Protection of the Environment, until the establishment of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in 2006. REMA is the Agency affiliated to the Ministry that is responsible for the execution of environment-related policies and laws. The Ministry is now called the Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA) since May 2011.