Last Updated on: 13th January 2024, 10:56 am
Kampala |The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs has launched a workshop series to formulate the Climate Change and Environment Security Strategy (CCESS).
The move is aimed at fulfilling the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force’s constitutional mandate of supporting civilian authorities in emergencies and cases of natural disasters.
Brigadier General David Gonyi, the Chief of Staff – Air Forces and Chairperson of the Joint Technical Committee, emphasized the crucial linkage between military operations and the environment during the opening of the workshop series held at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs headquarters, where he represented the Permanent Secretary.
“Military dimensions of war including land, sea, air and space need to ensure that the environment is conserved and protected for today and future generations more urgently than ever before. We cannot have sustainable development without a sustainable environment,” said Brig Gen Gonyi.
During his presentation on “National Emergency and Disaster Response Management and Policy Framework with specific emphasis on the roles of UPDF,” Brig Gen Eugene Ssebugwawo, Head of the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Center under the Office of the Prime Minister, stated that if the environment is destroyed, human beings will have nowhere to live.
“Disaters including floods and landslides became imminent and prominent in the late 1990s and 2000s because we have massively tampered with the environment,” Brig Gen Ssebugwawo observed.
Brig Gen Dr Stephen Kusasira a Senior Directing Staff at the National Defence College – Uganda, in his presentation on the “Capacity of UPDF to respond to natural disasters and emergencies in Uganda” said that UPDF’s involvement in environment and climate matters is not by choice but an obligation as provided for by the Constitution.
Maureen Anino is the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Environment Sector Support Services at the Ministry of Water and Environment.
Representing the Permanent Secretary, she observed that one of the key functions of the ministry is to ensure that issues of environment, natural resources management and climate change mitigation and adaptation are integrated into the plans, programmes and budgets of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.
“Therefore, the development of the MoDVA CESS is a key contribution to ensuring a clean, healthy and safe environment as provided for by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the National Environment Act 2019,” Anino emphasized.
The technical team will embark on field research and consultations to incorporate the views of other key stakeholders and entities to have an inclusive and comprehensive strategy.
The strategy is being formulated in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Environment who are offering technical guidance to the Defence Ministry and UPDF to mainstream its climate change interventions.