With the anniversary of the HyCRISTAL launch event fast approaching, we thought we’d blog the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda’s closing speech at the meeting (with his very generous permission):
THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
RT HON. DR. RUHAKANA RUGUNDA
PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
AT THE CLOSING OF THE MEETING ON INTEGRATING HYDRO-CLIMATE SCIENCE INTO POLICY DECISIONS FOR CLIMATE-RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE AND LIVELIHOODS IN EAST AFRICA (HyCRISTAL)
22nd — 24th SEPTEMBER 2015
SPEKE RESORT MUNYONYO, KAMPALA
Professor Kamazima Lwiza, Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to preside at the closing of this important meeting on Integration of Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Decisions for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa (HyCRISTAL).
I thank Professor Kamazima Lwiza for inviting me, on behalf of Government, to participate in this meeting.
HyCRISTAL, as a “Future Climate for Africa” project, is of great relevance for Africa today. The objective you have set out of generating improved information on climate change in Africa and improved utility of his information to aid decision making on the 5-40 year time-scale is a strategic development objective.
I am particularly delighted that HyCRISTAL is working within the EAC-led initiatives and as such promoting the integration of the East African Community. I also applaud your wider collaboration between East African researchers, UK scientists, and US scientists.
I would like to thank you all for your leadership and concerted effort in responding affirmatively to the urgent need for collective responsibility on Climate Change Mitigation Action.
Honourable Prof. Ephraim Kamutu, our Minister of Water and Environment and his team in the Ministry are doing an excellent job championing Government efforts to climate change mitigation action. Your effort will therefore go a long way in augmenting Government’s own effort by helping strengthen the evidence base for policy and law making.
As you all realize, the achievement of long-term sustainable economic growth, especially in the face of climate change, is a major concern for the World today. It is no wonder that World Leaders are convening in New York next week to adopt the global development agenda 2030 which is anchored on sustainable development – the Sustainable Development Goals.
The climate of Uganda is our most valuable natural resource and a major determinant of other natural resources like soils, water, forests and wildlife, as well as the human activities dependent on them.
The increasing emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are changing the earth’s climate and Uganda is definitely at risk. The impacts of climate change such as droughts, floods, storms, heat waves and landslides will most likely reduce the benefits derived from the natural resource base. This will have serious consequences on agricultural production, food security, forests, water supply, infrastructure, health systems, incomes, livelihoods and overall development.
Uganda must therefore respond to risks of climate change and build resilience to ensure sustainable development. Although climate change is a global challenge to which global solutions must be found, the effects of climate change are local and local solutions are therefore necessary.
The NRM Government is therefore committed to addressing the climate change challenge and has established an enabling policy environment. Government is actively implementing measures to adapt and mitigate climate change. Uganda signed and ratified both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol (KP) thus committing itself to the adoption and implementation of policies and measures designed to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. Uganda is also a party to the implementation of the EAC Climate Change Policy which requires member states to initiate and develop consistent and harmonized, policies and plans to address climate change.
In line with international and regional obligations, Uganda has developed a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) to guide all climate change activities and interventions in the country. This policy will provide direction to the key sectors that will be affected by the impacts of climate change; facilitate adaptation; and strengthen coordinated efforts amongst sectors towards building an overarching national development process that is more climate change resilient. The Government will continue to engage in discussions and actions with all stakeholders to promote climate change resilient and low carbon development pathways.
I am therefore happy that this meeting on climate change is putting an emphasis on generating improved information on climate change and, more importantly, finding ways to improve the utilization of emerging evidence on climatic change for improved policy making. Your efforts will help government to manage better the risks and uncertainties around climate change.
I commend Professor Kamazima and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of Stony Brook University; and indeed all of you, together through this collaborative effort, for supporting Uganda’s and the EAC’s programs on climate change mitigation actions.
I thank your financiers for supporting this project. We all know that the financing needs for Government’s are enormous and public expenditures alone will not be sufficient to adequately transform our economies. This means that the largest share of additional investment would have to come from development partners and the private sector. It should be noted that the private sector is already responsible for the largest share of climate financing globally through the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI). I therefore urge you to strengthen your linkages with the private sector.
I happy to learn that you, on Tuesday met with the local partners including representatives from various government agencies, NGOs, academia and asked for their requirements for knowledge, data, and climatic projections, which would facilitate creating climate resilient communities.
The Office of the Prime Minister is available to support this collaborative effort through the numerous coordination platforms that we manage. Your engagement with users and decision makers will therefore get the highest level of support from Government. The tools which you will develop from the project will be promoted by Government to ensure maximum impact in policy development and decision making.
I am once again delighted to participate in this strategic and collaborative process to integrate Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Decisions for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa (HyCRISTAL).
I thank you all for this noble initiative and hereby declare the workshop closed.
I thank you.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY