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Uganda at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd December 2014 08:51 PM

Uganda is participate in the twentieth's session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the tenth's session of the conference of the parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP20/MP10) in Lima, Peru.

Uganda is participate in the twentieth's session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the tenth's session of the conference of the parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP20/MP10) in Lima, Peru.

trueBy Edwin Muhumuza

Uganda is participate in the twentieth's session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the tenth's session of the conference of the parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP20/MP10) in Lima, Peru.

This started on Monday, December 1 is running up to December 12, 2014. Uganda sent a delegation comprising of ministers, key policy makers, and different experts from different government institutions, academia, the private sector and the civil Society organisations as negotiators from developing countries globally.

In 1992, countries joined an International Treaty, the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change and to cope with whatever impacts were by then inevitable.

By 1995, countries realised that emission reductions provisions in the convention were inadequate. They launched negations to strengthen the global response to climate change and two years later adopted the Kyoto Protocol.

The protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on January 2013 and will end in 2020. The question of what happens beyond 2020 was answered by Parties in Durban in 2011.

Climate change is a complex problem, which, although environmental in nature, has consequences for all spheres of existence on our planet. It either impacts on or impacted by global issues, including poverty, economic development, population growth, sustainable development and resource management.

It is not surprising then that solutions come from all disciplines and fields of research and development.

Scientists on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the effects of Global warming are already being felt in Africa. Africa is particularly vulnerable because it has a low institutional capacity to combat the changing weather. Ironically, Africa produces far less carbon than other continents, leading some scientists to blame industrialized countries for Africa’s climate plight.

Climate change debate has undoubtedly highlighted the serious environmental issues we face. It has also polarised public opinion with the debate generated often tending to focus on the extremes.

President Museveni while meeting members of Youth Go Green Campaign last year said that, Uganda faces categories of environmental threats which include global threats created by greed of developed countries like China & USA that generate green house gases. Mitigating carbon emissions is in the national and global interest simply because the balance of nature is being threatened.

In Uganda, carbon sequestration (removal from the atmosphere) and meeting the challenge to maintain our vulnerable biodiversity is a great reason for planting more trees. Intensifying tree planting to restore our erosion prone hillsides, damaged wetlands and putrid streams is an urgent priority.

Present policies may encourage planting trees for harvest. However, there is little or no Government recognition or funding support for individuals, communities or organizations whose planting activities make a significant impact on mitigating carbon emissions.

Funding the planting of more trees by these groups would be an efficient and cost effective way of removing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. In addition, planting trees to offset carbon emissions will also contribute to repairing our at risk native biodiversity.

The Youth Go Green Campaign project is a great example of how a community of volunteers, through promoting massive tree planting across Uganda by engaging the young people in education institutions, the private sector, local communities, corporate institutions and Government is seen to be re-vegetating and restoring degraded areas. Our landscape both on the mainland and offshore islands is crying out for restoration.

But why is there not a big outcry about the lack of protection and conservation of our environment? We know that clearing of land has caused devastating floods. We know that grazing in streams and wetlands hinders water flow and reduces water quality. Many farmers are this country's best conservationists but the reality is that protecting native biodiversity on private land with fencing, pest eradication, weed control and plant supply is expensive.

In Uganda, there are many Civil Society organizations in conservation programs such as the Youth Go Green Campaign which was launched in 2012 by H.E Yoweri K. Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda as the “Champion” of the campaign with the focus of inspiring Ugandans especially the young generation to conserve the environment for the future.

However, such organizations have limited capacity and resources to supplement government’s efforts in the re-forestation programs yet Uganda needs to preserve its proud name “The Pearl of Africa” by protecting its natural heritage. 

I therefore say that, Uganda should adopt a “National Tree Planting Policy” and gazette a National Tree Planting Day which would be observed by all Ugandans if we are to place greater focus on preserving our natural heritage and avoid global warming and climate change issues. So let us plant more trees whether it is on public or private land.

The writer is an environmentalist an youth leader
 

Uganda at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

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