Dialogue on Environmental Governance in Uganda


A cross section of participants during the dialogue meeting.                  

On April 25, 2018, the Ministry of Water and Environment in collaboration with EMLI with financial support from NEMA and the CSO Government Dialogue project convened a breakfast Dialogue on Environmental Governance in Uganda at Mosa Court Apartments in Kampala. The event brought together 52 participants (15 Females and 37 Males) from state and Non State Actors including MDAs, CSOs and Media inter-alia. The dialogue built on the recommendations of the assessment study report on the status of implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements in Uganda commissioned by EMLI.

The dialogue focused on two key presentations: 1) the status of implementation of global environmental agreements in Uganda, 2) our environment and human centeredness. It also included a panel discussion on how to ensure environment is everyone’s responsibility in the Country; highlight of the MEAs Coordinating Desk and how to improve coordination on MEAs implementation; role and engagement of CSOs in environment management and overview of climate and environment financing in Uganda.

The presentation by Ms. Samantha Atukunda on the status of MEAs implementation in Uganda made the following recommendations to improve MEAs implementation in the country; 1) need to allocate a fractional share of sectoral budgets for MEAs related activities; 2) strengthen coordination among institutions and actors in MEAs related activities by facilitating inter-ministerial dialogues with ministries for foreign affairs and  Justice, MEAs sectors and other stakeholders; 3) facilitate stakeholder engagement  including observers in MEAs decision-making processes such as participation in meetings, grants for implementation;

Mr. Fred Onyai the Internal Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, NEMA, informed members about the misconception of the definition of environment by both scientists and practitioners who exclude human being and yet their livelihoods entirely depend on the environment. He therefore defined environment as a component of human beings, their surroundings and the interactions thereof. He therefore highlighted the need to effectively manage interactions and actions on the environment so as to ensure sustainable co-existence of the physical environment and human livelihoods.

In order to improve environmental governance in Uganda the following recommendations were made during the dialogue;  

  •  Need to strengthen coordination among institutions and actors in MEAs related activities by facilitating inter-ministerial dialogues with ministries for foreign affairs and  Justice, MEAs sectors and other stakeholders;
  •  The environment approaches and strategies must be constructed to have human beings in the center;
  • Need for collective responses and actions to ensure environmental sustainability and sustainable livelihoods.
  • The need for a national environment platform so as to bring both state and non-state actors to dialogue on environment issues and identify lasting solutions to environment challenges through a holistic approach.

In a nut shell, the dialogue enhanced awareness on the status of MEAs implementation in Uganda while highlighting MEAs to which Uganda is a party and the challenges faced by the country in implementing such MEAs. This helped to narrow the information gap on MEAs signed by Uganda amongst the participants.

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