On March 10, 2014, CSOs majorly from Climate Action Network Uganda were convened by Environmental Management for Livelihood Improvement Bwaise Facility (EMLI) in collaboration with the Climate change Unit (CCU) with support from ActionAid Uganda to develop a position on the proposed legislation and institutional framework for Climate change in Uganda.
Having approved the national climate change policy last year on December 19, 2013, two issues were left to be finalized before the decsiion of the Policy Committee on Environment (PCE) is submitted to Cabinet for endorsement i.e. the legislation and institutional framework.
The options for the legislation were between standalone legislation and an amendment of National Environment Act whereas the institutional framework is either a Department or a Climate change Commission.
The UNFCCC National Focal Point for Uganda, Mr.Isabirye Paul noted that the earlier proposed institutional framework was to upgrade the current CCU into a Department under the Ministry of Water and Environment but in the due course of the review, another proposal by PCE was to have a Climate Change Commission. The legal framework was standalone climate change legislation or an amendment of the National Environment Act.
Based on the discussions on legal implications of a Department and a Commission, Participants proposed a Commission as compared to a Department. This was due to the fact that the Department is small and does not have a mandate over other ministries to develop the performance framework as well as coordinating specialized regulatory agencies such as National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
Participants have proposed the following to justify the kind of Climate Change Commission (CCC) needed in Uganda. The CCC should:
- Have the legal political muscle and visibility to cause inter-ministerial climate change response and avoid duplication;
- Facilitate the collection, blending, coordination of and accounting for climate finance from a variety of sources whereas the distribution of such funds to climate change activities that promote national priorities;
- Be able to promote synergies between climate change related work among Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Private sector and Civil society while respecting its legal autonomy;
- Be able to monitor the compliance, with the provisions of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol and other instruments that Uganda is a party. It should coordinate negotiations on climate change issues at local, regional and international levels;
- Promote and facilitate scientific and technical cooperation, knowledge sharing and information exchange services so as to establish a fully operational online information repository.