A workshop held to communicate the findings of an Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change in Uganda.
Some of the participants of the workshop sharing a light at the opening of the workshop.
Held at Protea Hotel - Kampala on the 24th November 2015, the workshop aimed to underscore the following objectives:
- Increasing awareness of the economic impacts of climate change for Uganda at both the national and local level
- Increasing the take-up of evidence and recommendations from the study in National, sectorial and local policy development
- Enhancing commitment from the Government of Uganda about taking steps regarding investment in climate compatible development.
- Increasing the level of understanding of the magnitude of the climate change challenge faced by Uganda, within the donor community to enhance mitigation and adaptation facilitation.
The workshop was attended by members from the Government of Uganda, Education & Research Institutions, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, the Media fraternity and members of the public. With notable attendants including Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu – the Minister of Water and Environment – Uganda, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University represented by Prof. Bernard Bashaasha the Principal – College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Ms. Claire Monkhouse from CDKN London, Mr. Howard Standen – DFID Uganda, officials from CIDT, among other dignitaries.
Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, while giving his opening remarks noted that there is need for a mind-set change among the Ugandan population to realize that climate change is a real threat to their wellbeing and is not a problem for only the government to solve, but rather needs a collective effort for both government, the private sector, and individual communities to seek to collectively mitigate it’s effects. He also informed the workshop that a team from Uganda will be travelling to Paris – France in December 2015 to present it’s proposed climate mitigation and adaptation strategies at an international climate change convention.
Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, the Minister of Water and Environment giving his opening remarks
Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, while chairing presentation of the study findings, noted that Makerere University and CAES in particular has integrated climate change studies in the undergraduate programmes curricular, and has also introduced new post-graduate programmes geared towards tackling the challenges of climate change. He also noted that CAES researchers are vigorously involved in developing planting materials and plant breeds that are resilient and adaptive to the effects of climate change.
Prof. Bernard Bashaasha giving his remarks during presentation of the study's findings
In a panel discussion, members from line organizations discussed the approaches their respective institutions are taking to address the challenges of climate change. The panel was composed of Mr. David O. O. Obong, the Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Water and Environment who presented the national climate change policy implementation, Dr. Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa - the Chairperson National Planning Authority who presented the planning perspective, Dr. Najib Lukooya Bateganya – from Kampala Capital City Authority who presented on the strategies and approaches KCCA is taking to address the Climate change challenges, and a member of the private sector.
The workshop was later split up into group discussions where focus groups on Agriculture, Water, Energy and Infrastructure held separate discussions to come up with strategies of addressing climate change in each of these respective sectors. Views from each of the focus groups were later presented to the workshop and their recommendations where captured as strategies going forward.
The Transport and Housing Focus Group in their discusion
Mr. Moses Atwine who represented the Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director, while commenting of the study finding that Uganda still largely relies on biomass energy, which has been to be in in short supply by 2050 noted that:
"It is absurd that Uganda does not have a solar energy harvesting plant, something even South Sudan, a newly formulated country has"
He also decried the habit of harvesting young trees to be used as scaffolding materials for new building sites, noting that it is only Uganda that is still using this environmentally unfriendly method of scaffolding in the region.
"Even if one planted a forest, they shouldn’t cut it the way they feel like due to the adverse effects" Mr. Moses Atwine noted.
The workshop was officially closed by Eng. Richard Chong on behalf of the minister of water and environment.