MPs Task Government to Enforce Environmental laws

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Parliament has called on the Ministry of Water and Environment to expedite the implementation of processing of the National Climate Change Act 2020 which was passed in April 2021.

The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Hon Emmanuel Otaala said government needs to implement laws on the environment.

Otaala made this call while moving a motion urging government to implement measures to mitigate the effects of climate change in Uganda.

“When I asked about the National Climate Change Act, it has not been published in the Gazette. The reason I get is that an official from the Ministry [Environment] was mandated to get money and pay for the Act to be published but it has not been done up to now,” Otaala said.

He added that the Minister for Water and Environment, Hon. Beatrice Anywar asked for funding for implementation of environmental protection activities which resources he said can be obtained.

“In the National Environment Act, there is an environmental levy that is charged. We want the Minister to get this money, buy tree seedlings and give each MP 2000 seedlings to plant in their constituencies since we are in the rainy season,” Otaala said.

The motion also sought to have government strictly implement all environmental laws including the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act, 2008 and the National Environment Act, 2019.

The other prayers in the motion were for government to undertake measures to mitigate the effects of climate change in Uganda including encouraging recycling, controlling emission of greenhouse gases, afforestation and the use of clean renewable energy.

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“Government must encourage development of local solutions and technologies as a means of mitigating climate change in Uganda,” read the motion in part.

Hon. Lawrence Biyika Songa, the Chairperson of Parliament’s Climate Change Committee who seconded the motion said that it is key to promote development of adaptation and resilience of Ugandans to live along with climate change while achieving socio-economic development.

He observed that Uganda’s economy is dependent on the climate since it is highly agro-based and rain-fed.

“Sixty-eight per cent of farmers in Uganda are on a small-holder level and are living on less favored land. Of these, 80 per cent are women who rely on the sector to fend for their families,” Biyika Songa said.

He added that the development pathway of Uganda in the National Development Plan [NDPIII] prioritizes the energy sector that also relies on the environment.

” This factor indicates an urgent need for attention to climate change. It means that we must lobby for sustainable agriculture, sustainable water management and develop resilient infrastructure,” Biyika Songa added.

Speaker Jacob Oulanyah referred the motion to the Climate Change Committee and tasked them to engage the Minister for Water and environment and present a comprehensive motion to Parliament.

“The Cop26 that deals with matters of climate change on the global level is coming up. Delegates from Uganda who will attend this meeting should go with the report and its recommendations and exhibit it at this international forum,” said Oulanyah

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