PRESS RELEASE: Uganda launches process to develop Green Growth Strategy

Oct 30, 2015

Birding in Uganda: The World Tourism Organization reports that nature-based tourism is the fastest-growing tourism sector. The greening of tourism, which involves efficiency improvements in energy, water and waste systems, is expected to reinforce the employment potential of the sector with increased local hiring and sourcing and significant opportunities in tourism oriented toward local culture and the natural environment (Photo: UNDP Uganda / Mathias Mugisha 2013).

KAMPALA - Government of Uganda has today launched the process to formulate the “Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy” (UGGDS). The strategy will describe how the country can promote the use of natural resources in a sustainable manner to achieve economic growth, and development, while at the same time combating climate change.

The UGGDS aims to “contribute to eradicating poverty as well as sustained economic growth, enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare and creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the earth’s ecosystems.”

UNDP's Low Emission Capacity Building (LECB) Programme is funding the Strategy - a collaborative effort between the National Planning Authority (NPA) and the Ministry of Water and Environment, Climate Change Department. It is being directed through a Steering Committee consisting of representatives from Ministries of Water and Environment; Energy and Mineral Development; Finance Planning and Economic Development; Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; Lands, Housing and Urban Development; and Trade, Industry and Cooperatives. Other representatives are drawn from the National Environment Authority (NEMA), Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the Economic Policy Research Centre, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda and the Uganda Local Government Association.

Ecofys Netherlands B.V. (Ecofys) (and its sub-contractors LTS International Ltd (LTS) and the Uganda-based consultancy AOT Consulting Ltd) has been contracted to guide the process.

The UGGDS will produce a forward-looking national development plan that encompasses low-emission growth while helping advance national climate change and development policy planning in a more coordinated, coherent and strategic manner.

Why green growth?

Uganda has achieved considerable development progress over the past 50 years. The economy moved from recovery to growth in the mid-1980s and has since grown consistently. In the last 24 years, the country’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown at an average of 6.52 percent. However, this impressive trend remains highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

National commitment to tackle climate change

The Uganda National Climate Change Policy, adopted in 2013, identifies key sectors for climate change mitigation action: agriculture, forestry, energy, transport, waste, and industry. It is being implemented through sectoral development plans. In four of these sectors (agriculture, energy, waste and transport), UNDP’s LECB initiative identified eight Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) as priorities for Ugandan efforts in climate change mitigation.

Uganda’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC in 2014 lays down further mitigation options and adaptation considerations in key sectors, such as the wider use of solar energy and the introduction of a forestry monitoring information system as well as looking at the impacts on climate change on agriculture, water, health and risk management. It also points to significant shortcomings with regards to financial, technical and capacity building needs that hamper the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures. The UGGDS will address these gaps to allow for effective mitigation action.

Complying with International commitments to tackle climate change

The international community demonstrated strong political will and commitment to address global climate change by adopting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. The ultimate objective of this Convention and any other related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve stabilization of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Paris in December 2015 is expected to adopt a protocol or legally binding agreement with legal force that is universally applicable.

Despite the shortage of finance, Uganda has taken steps to comply with its national pledges and  the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)  have been submitted to the UNFCCC for discussion in the Paris meeting. The country has committed to developing national strategies to mitigate climate change and promote low-carbon development.

The development of the UGGDS is also a response to the UNFCCC, that established that in order to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, all countries, and particularly middle-income countries, as part of their commitments, must develop and implement Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDs), also called Green Growth Development Strategies.

Development goals underpin sustainable development

Uganda’s long-term development is to become an upper middle-income status by 2040. The Vision 2040 identifies a range of growth opportunities that are currently considerably under-exploited: oil and gas, tourism, minerals, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), business, abundant labour force, geographical location and trade, water resources, industrialisation, and agriculture. In order to exploit these opportunities, the Vision foresees the strengthening of ‘fundamentals’ of the Ugandan economy, including infrastructure (energy, transport, water, oil and gas, and ICT); science (technology, engineering and innovation); land use and management; urbanisation; human resources; and peace, security and defence.

To realise this Vision 2040, the government has so far prepared two short-term development goals in five-year National Development Plans (NPDs) that were launched in 2010 and 2015. They both called for the promotion of a low-carbon economic development path. The NDP II (2015/16-2019/20) that is currently being implemented recognizes that by having serious consequences on agricultural production, food security, forests, water supply, infrastructure, health systems, incomes, livelihoods and overall development, climate change potentially poses one of the greatest challenges for Uganda to realize its Vision 2040. NDP II states that Uganda will continue to promote climate change resilient and low carbon pathways.

 

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The development of the Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (UGDDS) and Intentionally NDCs is part of the implementation of the Low Emissions Capacity Building (LECB), a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported project being implemented by the Ministry of Water and Environment – Climate Change Department.

Funded by the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Australian Government, the project responds to Uganda’s socio-economic development goals and includes, among others: developing national capacity to deal with climate change challenges; ensuring climate proof development planning; and promoting a low carbon economic development path.

Contact information

Martha Bbosa,                                                                                                    Manager Low Emission Capacity Building Project,                                                               Tel: +256 414112100,                                                                                                   Mobile: +256716005159,                                                                                           Email: martha.bbosa@undp.org                                                                                  Web:http://www.ug.undp.org  

Chebet Maikut,
UNFCCC National Focal Point/Head of Climate Change Department
Ministry of Water and Environment,
P.O. Box 28119 Kampala, Uganda,
Tel: +256-392-965344,
Mob. +256-752-609414,
Fax: +256-414-346530,
http://www.ccu.go.ug/

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