28 December 2017

Uganda: MPs Asked to Expedite Climate Change Law

Kampala — Development partners have asked Parliamentarians to popularise the proposed law that seeks to regulate activities on natural resources to have it expeditiously enacted into law.

They also want the Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change (PFCC) to create awareness among Members of Parliament about the pertinent issues in the Climate Change Bill in order to solicit support.

Ms Hanifah Kajubi, a Climate Change Officer working with Feed the Future Uganda under USAID, asked the MPs on PFCC to demand for a national validation of the draft Bill to create awareness as well as filling the gaps.

"There is need to actively engage MPs on the Bill and seek their support such that when it is tabled, the process is made easy," said Ms Kajubi, revealing that the Climate Change Policy will be launched in February next year.

The law

The Environment Ministry presented the draft Bill, which provides that a person who refuses to give access to an authorised officer of the department who has requested access to any land or premises commits an offence.

According to the National Climate Change Bill 2017, polluters of the environment will be liable to compensate people who suffer loss or damage as a result of their acts and omissions.

The proposed law empowers the High Court to issue orders to prevent, stop or discontinue the act or omission that is subject to the case and also to compel government to take measures to reverse the act that was omitted.

Ms Cotilda Nakyeyune, the senior programme officer at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, suggested that the ideas generated during consultation be included in the Bill before it is finalised.

"We want to see the Bill shaped to acceptable status. We need support to position climate change sector in order to attract funding and one way to advocate for this is by way of having a law in place," she added.

The development partners were speaking at the end of year dinner in Kampala on Tuesday.

Limitations

Earlier on Members of Parliament said the proposed law is silent on climate change fund, how to manage it, offences as well as enforcement of punishments against culprits of environment degradation. "We are talking about resilient infrastructure because it will be useless for development facilities to be destroyed before they serve," said MP Lawrence Biyika Songa.

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