The research fund will be available to researchers and help them assess how climate change, related disasters like drought, floods, pests and diseases have impacted on local communities.
Civil Society Organizations (CSO) promoting environment conservation are calling for a creation of a climate change and preparedness fund, to help the country conduct wide research to show the readiness of Uganda to respond to effects of climate change related disasters.
Through Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development (SCIFODE), activists believe the fund will support scientists from relevant sectors like agriculture to cater for crop, livestock and fishers; Pharmaceuticals, media, infrastructure like roads, water transport, meteorology, housing among others plan for their sectors when disaster strikes.
Isaac Ongu, the executive director at SCIFODE, said the research fund will also be available to researchers to help them assess how climate change related disasters like drought, floods, pests and diseases have impacted on local communities, to inform better future responses.
“For food security, the fund will assist scientists who are breeding crops, trees, fish, animals with the aim of coming up with varieties or breeds that can withstand climate changes like high temperatures, higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions, among others,” said Ongu.
He also calls for the formation of a multidisciplinary scientific committee on climate change with representatives from government agencies like UNRA, NEMA, Meteorology, NARO, Fisheries, and Education among others.
“Such interventions will play an advisory role that will guide institutional; response to climate change impacts, it will also advise policy makers on how to factor climate change response measures in budgetary processes,” said Ongu.
The call comes a time when parliament’s committee on climate change is in the process of enacting the National climate change bill 2020, in order to operationalize Uganda’s commitment of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) Kyoto protocol and Paris Agreement.
The objective of the is Bill is to enforce Ugandan laws to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement; to provide for climate change response measures like measuring of emissions, reporting and verification of information; to provide for institutional arrangement for coordinating and implementing climate change response measures; to provide for financing for climate change among others.
Currently, there is no legal framework governing climate change interventions and absence of such a framework is an obstacle in translating the identified policy priorities into implementable actions with tangible climate change benefits.
According Ongu, UNCFCCC has been operational alongside others like the convention for Biological Diversity, United Nations Convention to combat Desertification, which owe their existence to the declaration of the United Nations Conference on Human Environment of Stockholm declaration of 1972 that progressed into the Earth summit of 1992 where most of these commitments were first opened for signing.
“We appreciate the role these treaties/protocols towards harmonizing global response to common challenges that affect us but these can only help us when they are domesticated and implemented by our specialized human resource like the multi-disciplinary scientists that we have, therefore the need for our own national research,” he said.