9 November 2012

Uganda: Country to Get Climate Change Policy

The Climate Change Unit in the Ministry of Water and Environment is in the process of initiating a national Climate Change Policy before the end of the year according to a top Ministry of Water and Environment official.

The Climate Change Unit was created by the government in 2008 although it started work in 2009 following its endorsement by the Cabinet.

Paul Isabirye, the Co-ordinator of the Climate Change Unit and the national focal person for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) said the policy will be accompanied by an implementation and communication strategy to avoid falling prey to the usual folly where well written national policies often fail to realize their goals because they lack an 'implementation strategy.'

In an exclusive interview with The Independent at the Climate Change Unit offices in Kampala on Nov. 9, Isabirye said the unit was working hard to have both the 'costed implementation' and communication strategies accompany the policy.

"By the end of the year, these two will be out (and) these will help Uganda's climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts," Isabirye said.

"We hope the National Climate Change Policy will not lie on the shelves like many others."

Isabirye added that the unit is also working with the National Curriculum Development Centre in the Ministry of Education to include climate change in the upper primary and lower secondary curricula. He said it is important that they target the two categories of learners because unlike the old, young people are receptive to learning new things.

"The best way of tackling climate change is by targeting the mindsets of these young people to conceptualize climate change issues," he said.

Meanwhile Isabirye hinted that Uganda will be sending a much stronger delegation to the Climate Change Conference that will run from Nov. 26 - Dec. 7 in Doha, Qatar.

Isabirye reiterated the importance of Uganda to actively participate in global efforts to control climate change, noting that contrary to what people say, these conferences are not an opportunity for delegates to go on holiday but rather, they present opportunity for countries like Uganda to congregate and find solutions to the global challenge that climate change is. There are up to 194 countries going to Doha.

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