Uganda’s Environment and Natural Resources: Enhancing Parliament’s Oversight


Uganda’s natural resource base is one of the richest and most diverse in Africa, resulting in the country’s economy relying heavily on goods and services so provided. As part of efforts to ensure effective management of Uganda’s environment and natural resources, several policies and institutions have been put in place. Despite these efforts the country’s natural resources continue to be degraded, and this jeopardises both individual livelihoods and the country’s economic development.

People’s livelihoods in Uganda are inextricably linked to sound natural resource management. It is therefore essential that Parliament, in its oversight and legislative role, ensures that natural resource management is at the centre of good governance and economic development.

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A series of studies indicate that the level of environmental degradation being witnessed are a result of increased population pressure and ineffective management of Uganda’s natural resources. There is lack of commitment to fund management of the natural resources as illustrated by the decrease of government and partner investment in this sector. For example, national budgetary allocations to the environment and natural resources declined from 4.9 percent in 2004/2005 to 2.4 percent in 2008/2009.

The reduced funding for the environment and natural resource sector is happening at a time when sustainability, as a concept, is becoming a basic tenet of development. This implies that underestimating the immense contribution of the environment and natural resources to the economy of Uganda is tantamount to creating conditions for destroying the foundation upon which the same economy is based.

Accordingly, the purpose of this handbook is to provide a ready source of environmental information and trends for legislators to reference on a regular basis in the course of their work. It is also meant to foster effective appreciation and representation of environmental issues in parliament, while entrenching the concept of sustainable development in planning and decision-making at different levels.


This handbook is organised according to various environment and natural resource focus areas in Uganda. Within each of these focus areas is a brief statement of current status, prevailing institutional, policy and legal framework, points for legislators to consider action on, and useful contacts for legislators to consider. The twelve focus areas addressed in this handbook are: agriculture, climate change, energy, fsheries, forests, land, oil and gas, pollution, tourism, water, wetlands and wildlife/biodiversity.

The handbook also summarises all key environmental laws, policies and strategies for ease of reference to legislators.

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Seiko Zuman - 20 Oct 2010
Kudos to UWS & GRID-Arendal for making this. Are you planning a similar book for other African countries?
Ivan, UWS - 12 Nov 2010
Seiko, thanks for appreciating. We are still in fruitful partnership with UNEP-GRID and so we are yet to discuss how we take this work forward. Your thoughts could be considered in our planning. Keep in touch.
Kabiito Bendicto-Good governence Uganda Martyrs Un - 22 Apr 2012
Thank you for capturing such hotspots of our environment. I have a desire too to practically join into the conservation campaign, though still tied up in the academia till September,2012.
I am appreciative indeed.
Asiimweamnon - 19 Oct 2012
The vital natural resources our country Uganda has got are insure, that is being wasted through different muilt-practices. They include smugling, corruption, poaching and abusing them. In order to achieve sustainable development people sensitised about the benefits of Ugandas natural resources.
achiengokumuwhitney - 05 Nov 2012
we need to conserve our resources given the fact that Uganda entails enough tourism resources to cater for the other generations.from these resources we could gain much after intensive marketing and the parliament should also allocate enough funds for the sustainable management of these resources and indulge the locals in planning.
Emma - 08 Nov 2012
This hand-book is definitely a wonderful piece of reference material for parliamentarians in their legislative and over-sight functions. It shoud, however, be made available to the educated citizens as well----the poor reading culture notwithstanding. However, if a mechanism of dissemination of vital information contained therein could be made, a critical number of people would begin to appreciate the importance of conserving our environment.

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