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Research Report

A review of Uganda’s national policies relevant to climate change adaptation and mitigation: Insights from Mount Elgon

Abwoli Y Banana
Patrick Byakagaba
Aaron JM Russell
Daniel Waiswa
Allan Bomuhangi
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 42
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)

    The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2014) anticipates rapid changes in climate, even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced quickly. Mitigation efforts can lessen, but not prevent, future climate change. The majority (80%) of Uganda’s population is reliant on rain-fed agricultural activities to provide the majority of its food and significant proportions of its income requirements (UBOS 2007). Consequently, any changes in climate, in terms of overall temperature and precipitation levels, or in terms of changes in seasonality of rainfall will have significant and widespread impacts on livelihoods and on the ecosystem services that...

  2. (pp. 3-9)

    At the beginning of the 19th century, forests and woodlands covered approximately 45% of the total land area of Uganda (Obua et al. 2010). The colonial government in Uganda established a comprehensive network of protected areas at the beginning of the 20th century to ensure a sustainable supply of economic, social and environmental services from forest resources. However, the bulk of Uganda’s forests (70%) are on privately owned land and customary land, with the remaining 30% in the protected area network, such as national parks or forest reserves (Table 1).

    Forest cover has been reduced to 4.9 million ha, or...

  3. (pp. 10-14)

    Forest management in Uganda has been decentralized and recentralized a number of times since independence in 1962. The changes often came as a result of policies adopted by different governments in the management of public affairs. Until the late 1990s, forest management in Uganda was mainly a public matter, more or less confined to forest reserves (FRs). Before 1967, there was a vibrant local government (LG) forestry service, which ran local forest reserves (LFRs), especially under the kingdoms that had built strong coherent government systems from the colonial days. At that time, LGs had powers to decide on development priorities...

  4. (pp. 15-20)

    Almost every policy adopted by a government is likely to have some direct or indirect impact on the vulnerability of Mount Elgon’s residents to climate change. This review focuses mostly on those policies that have direct impacts on the livelihood activities of the residents of the areas surrounding Mount Elgon National Park, who rely mostly on land and forest resources. We provide an overview of each of the policies and plans, their primary objectives and examples of the main activities being carried out around Mount Elgon by their respective ministries and departments.

    The national development plan (NDP) (GoU 2010b) is...

  5. (pp. 21-22)

    Some of the policies and plans described above are being implemented in areas around Mount Elgon. Under the objective of achieving household food and nutrition security in the agriculture sector development strategy and investment plan (DSIP) 2010, the following activities are underway in the Mount Elgon region:

    High-yielding hybrid maize has been introduced to farmers to improve food security.

    Farmers are being given technical knowledge and inputs through National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) to increase productivity; inputs include improved seed, breeds of animals and fertilizers in all districts surrounding Mount Elgon.

    The national land use policy objective of devising better...

  6. (pp. 23-23)

    In this project, we envisage using a bottom-up approach to influence local and national policy discourse using our findings. Indicators of impact will be the adoption of our findings at each level of the various policy processes. Figure 2 shows the policy implementation pathway that we intend to use to influence policy direction....

  7. (pp. 24-24)

    Governments around the Mount Elgon area have an opportunity to tailor their climate change adaptation strategies to the national frameworks, which seem to be quite comprehensive. Local leaders need only to explore feasible and locally adaptive measures for the particular challenges of each context. However, the policy framework on climate change adaptation does not provide for tailored local institutions that would ensure that the strategies and programs proposed are actually implemented.

    This may create a situation of ‘free riding’ with the knock-on effect of increasing vulnerability to climate change among the communities around Mount Elgon. This policy review has revealed...