Statement of the UNDP Country Director during the National Environment Management Policy Evaluation workshop

24 Apr 2013

The Executive Director – NEMA,
Ministry of Finance Representative,
Representatives of Central Government Agencies,
Representatives of District Local Governments,
All Invited Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to make some remarks on behalf of UNDP during this very important National Environment Management Policy Evaluation Workshop.

This policy evaluation is a crucial step in providing basis for the review of the National Environment Policy. As you may be aware about 20 years ago, UNDP supported the government of Uganda to develop the current environment policy and we are pleased to be associated with its review process and in particular this evaluation workshop.

I note that since the adoption of the NEMP in 1994, Uganda has made tremendous achievements in institutionalizing environmental management at national and local level. However, making the institutional machinery deliver sustainable environmental outcomes remains an uphill task that requires attention during the review process. New opportunities and challenges have emerged including oil discovery, exponential growth of the ICT industry and oil and electronic waste; and climate change, that were not catered for in the current policy.

Dear Participants, the review of the National Environment Management Policy comes at an opportune time after the conclusion of Rio+20 conference and launch of Uganda vision 2040. The outcome of this policy evaluation and review process should therefore provide guidance to the country's contribution to the global debate on post 2015 agenda on sustainable development goals and transiting into the green economy.

This evaluation and review process is part and parcel of UNDP support to government of Uganda towards improving environment, natural resources and climate risk management. Other policy initiatives supported by UNDP include; Disaster Management Policy completed in 2011, development National Biomass Energy Strategy, Electronic Waste Management Strategy and review of environmental impact assessment guidelines to incorporate emerging issues including climate change and social issues.

In this context, the environment policy evaluation and review should integrate challenges identified in attaining sustainable development as reflected in the Uganda Rio+20 National Report. These include poverty eradication, youth employment and job creation, social inclusion, sustainable energy, food security, water scarcity, and climate change, among others. Across the board, the lack of capacity to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development is recognized as a major challenge that needs to be addressed in the new policy. We need to find ways of reversing degradation of important ecosystems such as wetlands around freshwater lakes, water catchment areas, addressing industrial pollution and addressing climate change impacts.

I take this opportunity to thank the Executive Director NEMA, and his team for their leadership in this process, ACODE for undertaking the evaluation process and all participants present here today for setting aside time and resources to participate in this workshop.

I would like to take this opportunity, to reiterate UNDP's commitment to continue supporting government and other national partners in addressing key sustainable development issues. I look forward to fruitful deliberations in this evaluation workshop and the remaining policy review process.

Thank you for listening