Uganda like the rest of the world and more particularly the Least Developed Countries with the least capacity to adapt, is vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. It is a threat to its fragile ecosystems, people’s livelihoods and ultimately the national economic development efforts. Uganda therefore made a decision to join the Community of Nations in the global cooperation to address the problem in a timeframe safe for life and development sustainability.
A Climate Change Unit (CCU), now Climate Change Department (CCD) as one of the national measures to ensure action was created in 2008, directly under the office of the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Water and Environment. The main objective for the establishment of the CCD is to strengthen Uganda’s implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol (KP).
Considering the cross-sectoral nature of climate change interventions and the broad functions and tasks under the mandate of the Climate Change Department, strategic frameworks have been created;
a) The Climate Change Policy Committee (CCPC)
The CCPC, chaired by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment, has 14 members from various public and private institutions. The Commissioner of the Climate Change Department is the Secretary to the Committee.
The main functions of the CCPC are;
To offer policy guidance to the Ministers of Water and Environment on matters related to Climate Change
To assist the Minister of Water and Environment to take decisions on carbon finance activities in her capacity as the CDM Designated National Authority (DNA) for Uganda.
To re-constitute themselves into a Project Steering Committee to guide implementation of Climate Change Projects in the Ministry
b) The Inter-institutional Climate Change Technical Committee (ICCTC)
The ICCTC is constituted by the Climate Change Desk Officers from various public and private institutions.
The main functions include;
To bridge the gap between the Climate Change Department and the respective institutions, facilitating exchange of information.
They also assist in technical activities of the Department including Climate Change Project development and reviews.
Current efforts are focused on;
a) Technical capacity of the CCD, including through increased numbers and skills of personnel as well as equipping the office and scaled up facilitation of operations;
b) Development of a climate change policy and mainstreaming guidelines to facilitate harmonized national action;
c) Development of climate change awareness raising materials and the associated strategic awareness creation at all levels (Centre, local governments and community levels); and
d) Piloting and rolling out NAPA implementation.
e) Climate change related research.