Youth Call Upon Government to Involve them in the Climate Change Processes
Uganda is party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and has made several commitments including reducing its greenhouse gas emission by 22% through undertaking interventions aimed at reducing effects of climate change.
Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement (covers climate change mitigation, adaptation, and finance) and the achievement of these long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve.
SEATINI Uganda in collaboration with Youth Go-Green Uganda, Ministry of Water and Environment and UNDP Uganda held a conference on the NDCs implementation process. The conference was aimed at enhancing stakeholders’ awareness on the link between climate change and agro-industrialisation as well as sharing experiences and best practices in addressing both climate change adaptation and mitigation that would inform the NDC priority sectors including Agriculture, Livelihood and Food security, agro-industrialisation, environmental protection among others. The conference brought stakeholders from government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Society, media and the youth.
While giving his opening remarks, Mr Edwin Muhumuza, Chief Executive Officer and Team Leader, Youth Go-Green Uganda, brought to light the fact that they have created a youth for climate change action movement to discuss and promote Uganda’s contribution to NDCs and opportunities for young people. He further added that there is need to have livelihood options for young people to save our biodiversity and therefore the youth need platforms to discuss policies, strategies and reforms.
Hon Beatrice Atim Anywar, the State Minister for Water and Environment noted that the Government has set up the youth livelihood fund to help engage in innovative and climate smart strategies for better resilience.
Hon Beatrice Atim Anywar added that the Ministry of Water and Environment is willing to engage the youth towards achieve Uganda’s Nationally Determined Contributions.
Ms Akankunda Brenda, Program Officer, SEATINI Uganda reiterated that as the country prepares to submit its NDCs, it is important to recognise that access to energy is a crucial element in the realisation for Sustainable Development Goals and with the lowest access rate in the world of 40%. The quest for FDI within the Energy sector is at a rise, however, the Government should ensure that agreements signed with investors adhere and prioritize the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of all people including the youth.
“As we go to the Conference of Parties (COP26), the youth will be at the centre of discussions involving climate finance and project development as they are powerful activists of climate change,” Ms Elsie Attafuah, the UNDP Uganda Resident Representative said.
Some of the key issues the youth recommended to be added in the NDCs before it’s submitted for consideration included;
• There is need for Climate education and capacity building in the education curriculum systems so that youth can ably engage in the climate change policies and processes and provide alternatives;
• Need to ensure Inclusive Industrial policies that favours local investors for example having equal incentives for both foreign investors and local investors
• There is need for viable finance to support local initiatives especially those that are youth- led
• There is need to make it a requirement for all infrastructure constructions by investors to prioritize environmental safeguards to ensure environmental sustainability