Sub-Themes

a. Water and Environment Security for Inclusive-growth

Under NDP III government will strategically invest in critical national infrastructure projects to lower production costs, enhance international competitiveness and facilitate the sustainable exploitation of developmental opportunities in agriculture, tourism, minerals, and oil/gas.  In particular, investments in petroleum development, as well as in the country’s energy supply and transport infrastructure will help stimulate greater private investment, encourage agricultural production, and support Uganda’s nascent light manufacturing sector.

However, water, environment and natural resources are under increasing pressure despite their importance in ensuring water and environment security and social and economic growth. For example, the forest cover has declined from 24% (or 4.9 million ha) of Uganda’s total land area in 1990 to 9% (1.83 million ha) in 2018, a reduction of 57% in just 25 years. This majorly attributed to biomass fuel cooking/combustion with other auxiliary drivers such as expansion of agricultural land, sporadic urbanization, and income poverty, industrialization and inadequate incentives for private plantation forests. About 90% of Ugandans use fire wood and charcoal for cooking. Other challenges include encroachment, illegal harvesting and titling. Similarly, the national wetlands coverage as a percentage of the total land area declined from 15.6% in 1994 to 8.4% in 2016. It is estimated that Uganda loses 846 km2 of its wetlands annually. The major causes of wetland degradation are poor farming practices, unplanned urbanization and settlements, excessive water abstraction, income poverty, poor intra and inter sector coordination with regards to continued issuance of land titles in wetlands, sand mining and industrialization with some of the demarcated business/industrial parks located in wetlands.

This sub-theme will explore the impacts of degradation of water, environment and natural resources on achievement of NDPIII targets and what needs to be done to ensure water and environmental security for inclusive growth. It will also discuss the governance challenges associated with environment and natural resources management and transboundary water cooperation and present possible solutions to promote sound water, environment and natural resources management and transboundary water cooperation and prevent conflicts.  This sub-theme will also look into ensuring coordinated and sustainable national infrastructure projects considering that Uganda’s economy relies almost entirely on the stock of water, environmental and natural resources to produce goods and deliver services. It will also address the new approaches to achieving Water-Food-Energy nexus as well as approaches for addressing water scarcity and through non-conventional water and environment resources management approaches.

b. Water and Environment for Employment and Wealth Creation

The focus of NDPIII on resource-led industrialization through value addition in agriculture, minerals, petroleum and manufacturing presents major opportunities for employment, wealth creation and socio-economic transformation. However, employment, wealth creation and socio-economic transformation among vulnerable communities will depend largely on availability and sustainable management of key natural resources.

The contribution of environment and natural resources to employment and wealth creation has already been recognised by the country although a lot more still needs to be done to exploit this potential.  For example, water is central to agriculture, the mainstay of Uganda’s economy, from which about 85% of the population derives their incomes and livelihoods.  Provision of adequate water for agriculture will spur transformation of the economy through increased productivity for both livestock and crops.  Water is also required as an indispensable input in agro-industrialization. It must, therefore, be available in adequate quantities and corresponding quality at the right time and right place in order to contribute to the achievement of the development goal of increased household incomes and improved quality of life of the population. Similarly, Uganda’s forests supply 88 % of all its energy needs, provide 61% of Uganda’s tourism income and provides jobs for about 1 million people. Over the last five years, private commercial plantations have been promoted together with tree planting campaigns and distribution of about 62 million seedlings out of 88 million produced. About 3,500 ha of degraded natural forests have been restored and 60,000 ha were allocated to private developers for commercial tree plantation development, out of which 5,400 ha of new plantations have been established. However, the restoration of forests and tree cover by natural regeneration or by plantation or by agroforestry has not kept pace with the annual loss of forest cover and loss of individual trees.  This trend is likely to affect employment and wealth creation of especially the youth in Uganda. The same situation can be said of wetlands and other natural resources.

This sub-theme will discuss how societies should govern and develop their water and environment resources for employment and wealth creation and improving people’s livelihood. Accessibility to safe and clean water is, for many people, a matter of daily survival, or can help to break the vicious circle of poverty. Improving natural resources governance and development is therefore essential to alleviating global poverty. The sub-theme will also give focus to innovative solutions for more efficient and productive development and management of water, environment and natural resources; case studies of integrated water development and management schemes that account for the water demand and supply as well as land and the environment.  It will also explore opportunities for increasing incomes and employment through sustainable use and value addition to water, environment and natural resources.

c. Climate change and achievement of NDP 3 goals

Uganda is experiencing changes in the climatic conditions and this has been exacerbated by anthropogenic activities related to degradation of natural resources. This is having devastating impacts on the society and undermining Uganda’s social and economic growth. The changes in climatic conditions have caused floods, droughts and landslides in various parts of the country resulting in destruction of infrastructure, crops and settlement structures and general destruction of peoples’ livelihoods. The key impacts have been on agriculture (crop failures due to drought and destruction by flooding), energy (especially hydropower generation), transport (destruction of roads and bridges), water supply (affecting quantity and quality), livestock production (affecting pasture production, water supply and many other negative impacts.

If the NDP III focus of investing in critical national infrastructure projects to lower production costs, enhance international competitiveness and facilitate the sustainable exploitation of developmental opportunities in agriculture, tourism, minerals, and oil/gas is to be realized there will need to address impacts of climate change.  There is therefore a need to enhance the resilience of the various sectors of the economy and the communities to climate related shocks through implementing appropriate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.  This will among others include sustainable management and development of water, environment and natural resources as well as conservation and protection of water catchment areas to improve land production, water supply and storage and prevent landslides in selected areas in Uganda.  Sound catchment management practices are critical in mitigating drought and flood risks thus reducing the average cost of maintenance and the likely rebuilding of lost key infrastructure such as roads, bridges, houses, manufacturing industries, schools and agriculture fields.  Resettlement costs for the people displaced by floods can be saved and transferred to other priority development programmes. Mitigation of impact of climate variability and climate change will also be key for employment and wealth creation and general economic growth.

This sub-theme will explore the impacts of climate change, both positive and negative, on the social and economic sectors of Uganda, and explore existing and potential innovative climate change mitigation and adaptation options that are key in supporting the achievement of various NDP3 goals and targets and specifically employment and wealth creation, and general economic growth.

This sub-theme will explore the impacts of degradation of water, environment and natural resources on achievement of NDPIII targets and what needs to be done to ensure water and environmental security for inclusive growth. It will also discuss the governance challenges associated with environment and natural resources management and transboundary water cooperation and present possible solutions to promote sound water, environment and natural resources management and transboundary water cooperation and prevent conflicts.  This sub-theme will also look into ensuring coordinated and sustainable national infrastructure projects considering that Uganda’s economy relies almost entirely on the stock of water, environmental and natural resources to produce goods and deliver services. It will also address the new approaches to achieving Water-Food-Energy nexus as well as approaches for addressing water scarcity and through non-conventional water and environment resources management approaches.