Monday 28 November 2016

Raising voices of pastoral communities in Climate Action Plans for Uganda.

Children in Karamoja fetching water from a borehole

Uganda ratified the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) thence committed to respect, promote and consider respective obligations inter alia, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity, when taking action to address climate change. Knowing that pastoral communities are increasing becoming extremely vulnerable to climate change, Uganda’s climate action plans should be responsive to address and respect the pastoral way of life.

With support from the Open Society Initiative foe Eastern Africa (OSIEA), EMLI and partners seek to facilitate a dialogue among climate change policy makers and pastoral communities on enhanced adaptive capacity to climate change.

The initiative intends to strengthen a conducive policy framework for pastoralism aimed at improving lives, livelihoods and rights, ascertain the needs of pastoral communities in context of changing climate and advocate for pastoral issues at national and global climate change policy processes.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Challenges to climate change adaptation in Uganda.

Participants in the NAP Dialogue pose for a group photo.
Climate change is a national mayhem with area specific effects i.e. increased influx of pests and diseases, flooding especially in the low land areas of Teso, soil erosion and landslides in the hilly areas of Mbale, Bundibugyo and Kasese causing tremendous loss of lives and property. The effects of climate change have affected planning and budgeting of the country as they lead to double doing of activities especially during construction and planting which retards the realization set national development targets. Uganda is committed to the pursuit of climate resilient and low carbon emissions with the ongoing impact assessment of the level of vulnerability of Ugandans to climate change, and implementation of some of the National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) priorities, however these efforts are being influenced by a number of challenges many of which need collective efforts to be addressed.

During the National Adaptation Planning Dialogue held on 8th/06/2016 at Imperial Royale Hotel organized by ACODE, Action Aid and EMLI Bwaise Facility in collaboration with the Ministry of water and Environment, limited quality and quantity of data to assess the vulnerability of Ugandans to climate change was mentioned as one of the challenges to adaptation where there is scanty information regarding the vulnerability levels of Ugandans which affects the level of planning.

Mr Chebet Maikut, commissioner, Climate Change Department, Ministry of Water and Environment said that despite the USD 8.37 million from the least development fund and $ 4 million that is to support Uganda to build resilience on water supply and sanitation there is still inadequate capacity to mobilize and use resources for adaptation.

In addition, the inadequate ability by institutions to integrate climate change issues in to development plans i.e. district plans has affected the level of implementing national development plans. According to Aaron Werikhe, NPA, only 30% of the priorities in the NDP 1 was implemented due to lack of sector development plans that are in line with NDP and the limited coherence in the budget process. He said that planning and financing communicate to each other and failure to achieve the coherence affects the realization of the set developmental goals.

Despite the challenges, there is still hope for Uganda to adapt effectively to climate change if only; the government stops reliance on donor funds and think of local initiatives that can deepen financing, Uganda Revenue Authority strengthens its work of collecting more domestic revenue  to cater for climate change financing and strengthen coordination in institutions.

Possible and environmental level polluters should begin to pay revenue to the government that can be used to tackle climate change issues.

Agriculture being the sector most prone to climate change impacts, adaptive agriculture programmes should be put in place for example countries should embrace climate smart agriculture through increasing financing in the sector.

Fund climate resilient infrastructures, in Uganda a number of roads and bridges are being affected by the heavy rains which leave most of them flooded and others broken, therefore funding climate resilient infrastructures will help to reduce government spending on infrastructures in the long run.

A lot is required to address climate change impacts but more is needed to build capacity among Ugandans specifically in resource mobilization, integration of climate change issues in sector plans and strengthen coordination among institutions towards a common cause if the development targets are to be realized.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

The Paris Agreement is not falling in a vacuum.

Delegates Launching the NAPA Evaluation Study at the Workshop
At a workshop organized by non-party stakeholders under Climate Action Network Uganda (CAN-U) and Environment and Natural Resource Civil Society Organizations (ENRCSO) Network through partners: Action Aid Uganda;  Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE); Environmental Management for Livelihood Improvement Bwaise Facility (EMLI); Environment Alert (EA); International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and OXFAM working in collaboration with the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Water and Environment to dialogue on the Outcomes of the COP21/CMP11 held in Paris, France.
Approx. 204 (71 female and 133 males) participated, representing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Development Partners, Civil society Organizations, Media Houses, Academia, and Indigenous peoples, who dialogued on the implications of the Paris Agreement to Uganda.

At the Workshop, Hon. Wilberforce Kisamba- Mugerwa (PhD), the Chairperson-National Planning Authority, representing the Minister of Water and Environment urged District Local Governments & MDAs to reflect climate change in the budget circular call in addition to building their capacities to address climate change issues.
Mr. Chebet Maikut, Commissioner, Climate Change Department-Ministry of Water and Environment and UNFCCC Focal point informed the Workshop that Uganda had taken steps to implement some of the COP21 Outcomes. Among them included; notifying the UNFCCC Secretariat of Uganda’s priority adaptation and resilience needs for possible support. The country had commenced the process of ratification and domestication of the Paris Agreement. To this effect, Government has established: 
  • National Steering Committee on the Implementation of the Paris Agreement 
  • Multi-sectoral National Projects Development Coordination Committee on Climate Change to be chaired by NPA
The workshop highlighted a number of issues: Adaptation still an issue for developing countries; no target for adaptation finance, Agreement fall short of gender consideration; loss of differentiation between Annex I & II countries; capacity building to be coordinated under a global body; Uganda enclosed with software technology and not yet undertaken the technology needs assessment (TNA); low involvement of private sector; Agreement creates momentum for Uganda’s Climate Law formulation.

The Workshop recommended: popularization of the INDC & Paris Agreement; build on existing programs and projects to implement the Paris Agreement; build capacity of the various stakeholders to effectively implement the Paris Agreement; establish a climate change trust fund and build supporting institutions to ensure sustainability; pioneer the mobilization of internal sources of revenue to avoid over reliance on donors e.g. fuel and emission tax among others as practiced in countries like Tanzania.