Government under spotlight over incoherent policy on climate change

Daily Monitor . October 05, 2013

A high level regional meeting in Kampala has been concluded with a call on government to step up its efforts in tackling the evident impact of climate change on trade and agriculture before all gets out of hand.

Speaking at the conference last week, Ambassador Nathan Irumba, the chief executive officer of the Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), a civil society engaged in promoting fair trade and development, said government policy on climate change in relation to other economic sector is at best incoherent.

According to Mr Irumba, who is also an expert on trade and investment issues, there is no evidence to suggest that the country is concerned about the dangers climate change could pose. “Things are the way they are because there is no policies in place to help government deal with the threats that climate change could inflict—And if at all there is something to that effect then it neither here nor there,” he said.

The meeting noted that the impact of climate change, such as prolonged droughts and rampant floods, are already evident to swing regional governments into action.

Real problem

“Climate change is real. So we must do something both as individual countries and at the regional level to counter climate change dangers,” Ms Jessica Eriyo, the Deputy EAC secretary general said.

The State Minister for Environment Flavia Nabugere, told the Saturday Monitor that incoherence approach to climate change is because the phenomenon is relatively new in this part of the world.

She said: “We have embarked on climate change policy and we are going to establish an institution just to deal with that issue—climate change really soon.”

The meeting was attended by participants from all five East African Community (EAC) countries, including the EAC Geneva negotiators, farmers’ organisations, the EAC Secretariat, private sector and representatives of international organisations,

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