New climate change committee to review govt decisions

By Lisa Nsaba

The committee will scrutinise all bills presented in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation

The new Parliament committee on climate change is going to review some of the decisions made by the government and advise on alternative investment options that are environment and climate-friendly.

"As far as the issue of giving away Bugoma Forest, we are supposed to advise the government that there can be other investment ways other than giving away a forest," Lawrence Songa (Ora County) the chairperson of the committee said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

In May, court made a ruling for the giveaway of 5,579Ha to Hoima Sugar Limited for sugarcane growing.

"We are going to reevaluate and assess the activities of the government. We shall also revisit these forests and ensure we protect and adapt accordingly," Isaac Mulindwa (Lugazi Municipality) said.

The committee, which will scrutinise all bills presented in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation, make recommendations to Parliament on legal and institutional mechanisms to address climate change.

"We shall work hand in hand with other committees like that of national resources to address the issue. Bugoma is one of our natural resources and we shall within our means do our best to save that forest and many others like Zoka," Songa stated.

He added that the committee will also look at the cost-benefit analysis, saying Uganda is a developing economy, and all activities done should be to develop it. "If we see that the benefits are more, we shall go for it, if they are less, don't do it."

In 1994, Uganda's forest cover was at 24% but there has been a steady decline and it now stands at 8%. Songa advised that people should not just plant trees and leave them, but take care of them so that they grow.