Uganda prepares to tap into the Green Climate Fund for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Jun 26, 2015

Mr. Chebet Maikut, Commissioner Climate Change Department/UNFCC Focal Point, Ministry of Water and Environment’s explains Government priorities on climate change during the national stakeholders’ engagement for the Green Climate Fund.

Kampala - The rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns have become a threatening part of life in most parts of the world, Uganda included.

To deal with this ever growing threat, different nations under the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), agreed to establish a Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support activities that help to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change particularly in the developing world.

Assisting developing countries to access climate finance is particularly important not only because they are home to the most vulnerable populations affected by climate change impacts, but also because, through the effective utilisation of climate funds, they can ensure that the development path they embark on is a resilient and sustainable one.

To help Uganda tap into this fund, the Ministry of Water and Environment as the National Implementing Entity with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Uganda organised a national stakeholders’ engagement to discuss modalities of how to access it.

Opening the engagement, Mr. David Obong, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) said it was vital to create awareness as part of building capacity for Uganda to position herself well to access this fund. He underscored the importance of the dialogue as an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input into the ongoing global negotiations on climate financing.

“We have to be proactive so that all sectors including public, private and civil society are part of the implementation and now is the time to shape that,” Mr. Obong said.

Mr. Onesimus Muhwezi, the Team Leader for Energy and Environment in UNDP applauded government for taking steps to plan, mobilise and utilise global climate financing opportunities by preparing the National Adaptation Plan of Action, costing the Country’s Climate Change Policy, developing nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) and integrating green growth and climate resilience into the National Development Plan and Vision 2040.

“The GCF provides another opportunity  to leverage resources that will help us to adapt a low emission and climate resilient development path as espoused in Vision 2040,” Mr. Muhwezi said.

He called on both public and private sector engagement in utilising GCF funds especially since the fund has a strong emphasis on public private sector partnerships as a key factor in delivering successful climate change investment.

Mr. Muhwezi said UNDP was one of the first seven agencies accredited to manage a GCF portfolio, this is in addition to its other partnerships with the Global Environment Facility and the Adaptation Funds which are all geared towards strengthening national capacity for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In Uganda alone, UNDP remains one of the lead multilateral agencies that supports government to build national capacities that generate and use climate finance including the institutional, policy, and skills systems development to use climate finance effectively.

“In this engagement, we hope to discuss how we can develop integrated projects that address economic development while reducing emissions and building resilience to climate change,” Mr. Muhwezi said.

The engagement was also used to obtain stakeholder input into the proposed project on Building Resilient Communities and Ecosystems through Restoration of Wetlands and Associated Catchments.  Other concepts presented include accelerating rural electrification through access to solar energy technology; and restoring the ecological balance of Uganda’s national parks to resist climate change impact shocks.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Joyce Ruhweza, the GCF Nationally Designated Authority Focal Point at Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development reiterated the importance of multi-sectoral approach involving private sector in designing and implementing projects and promised to organize additional public-private sector dialogues in identifying national priorities.

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