Climate change experts have welcomed the proposal by government to revisit the legal regime related to climate change.
Speaking to The Observer, Muhammad Ssemambo, a senior climate change officer adaptation at the ministry of Water and Environment, and Denis Maholo, senior agronomist at the ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, said with the new proposal, they are positive access to resources is going to be much easier.
Both officials have been key in formulating climate change policies.
“If government takes climate change as a priority, it gives us confidence that all sectors of the government will take it on because now it’s more like a presidential directive. As technical people, everything we do is in line with the implementation of the policies of the ruling government. If government believes we should do more to address climate change, then that is very exciting because it means our budgets now will be approved by both the executive and parliament without much ado,” Ssemambo said.
For his part, Maholo said their biggest problem to address climate change has been hampered by the lack of resources.
“We don’t have a particular vote in the budget addressing climate change. To get it, the process is that you have to engage the ministry of Finance and make a convincing case for it to be catered for. With the adverse impact of climate change on agriculture, I think we need a specific vote from the ministry vote level all the way to the local governments,” Maholo said.
Recently, President Museveni directed that the government revisits the legal and administrative regime for environmental conservation as a part of a fundamental push to roll back and mitigate the effects of climate change.
The directive comes just months after the ministry of Agriculture launched its guidelines for mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector. The guidelines detail the impact of climate on the sector and what needs to be done to forestall it. It was developed after a through consultation with a number of stakeholders.
Speaking at the launch of the national adaptation plan and guidelines to mainstream climate change in the agricultural sector; Agriculture minister, Vincent Ssempijja, said the document was a product of an inclusive consultative process with active participation of a wide range of stakeholders that included development partners, government staff from different agencies in the agricultural sector and ministries, civil society organizations (CSOs), academia, private sector and media.
“This indeed demonstrates the interest and commitment towards addressing the pertinent issue of climate change, which needs joint actions. This kind of partnership and collaboration is very much appreciated and should be encouraged,” Ssempijja said.
In the process of carrying out research and developing the guidelines, the ministry of agriculture received support from different organizations such as The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture; USAID - Enabling Environment for Agriculture Activity, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, among others.