CSOs Want Gov’t to Tap Into COP-27 Funding Opportunities

Environmentalists want the government to tap into the Loss and Damage Fund created in the recently concluded Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-27) that took place in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheik.

The fund aims to provide financial assistance to nations most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change. Uganda is ranked number 15 on the vulnerability index and number 147 on readiness, meaning the country is very vulnerable, yet unprepared to respond to climate change impacts.

The country is susceptible to climate extremes, such as droughts, increased temperature, pests and diseases, floods and hailstorms, and degradation of wetlands and forests, which are the main drivers of climate change. But despite the challenges, the population is struggling with a lack of knowledge, poverty, inadequate governmental support, limited agricultural extension, insufficient financial capital and illiteracy.

Robert Turyakira, the Executive Director of Environment Shield Uganda says that funds allocated to climate change mitigation remain too minimal to have an impact on the disasters that threaten the country, yet the little that is available has to be split between the various Ministries and agencies.

Turyakira made the call during the Western region environment dialogue held in Mbarara to create awareness about the dangers of climate change.

He says the local governments should tap the global financing opportunities to fund the departments in charge of the environment and natural resources which remain underfunded yet tasked to bail Uganda out of the climate change calamities.

Edina Nuwasasira, a Senior Environment Consultant at Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment in Mbarara says the Loss and Damage Fund created by cop-27 will help tackle the gaps that the current climate finance institutions do not fill since many of them recorded shortfalls after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Rashida Adongo Ekecha, an Environmentalist with Women Peace Initiatives Uganda in Lira District says that although women have been blamed for engaging in deforestation in search of firewood, they have not been sensitized on alternative sources of energy. She says the government should now tap into the Loss and Damage Fund opportunity to get this done.

Henry Paul Muyingo, the Coordinator of Uganda Eyenkya says that the funding opportunity will give the district environment and Natural resource officers an opportunity to fulfil their mandate. 

The government has increased Budget Allocations to activities mitigating climate change in the next financial year 2022/23 to 628.02 billion up from 400 Billion shillings.

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