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Uganda to participate in climate conference in Morocco

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Hon. Alex Byarugaba, the Chairperson of the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament

Uganda is set to participate in the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the 12th Session of the Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which takes place from 7th to 18th November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Sam Cheptoris, said that the Conferences will provide solutions to building resilience in communities on issues of climate change.

He explained that government was committed to contributing to the global efforts to address climate change despite its meager contribution to the global green house gas emissions.

“By addressing deforestation, degradation, restoration of wetlands and promoting climate smart agriculture, we hope to tackle the effects of climate change,” he told the pre-COP22 Meeting at Golf Course Hotel on Monday, 24 October 2016. The meeting drew participants from the Ministry of Environment, civil society organisations, development partners, the academia, Members of Parliament and youth among others. The meeting was an opportunity to brief Uganda’s delegation to the Morrocco Conference on the aspects of climate change pertinent to Uganda.

Hon. Alex Byarugaba, the Chairperson of the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament, who represented the Deputy Speaker at the function, said that the thematic areas which need attention are financing, mitigation, adoption, gender and technology.

“Our biggest stake is how to obtain financing to do the adoption and mitigation, ” Hon. Byarugaba said, adding “you cannot do a lot of mitigation because people are  uninformed and do not have the resources to do it.”

Hon. Winifred Masiko, the Negotiator on Gender and Climate Change and Chair of the Uganda Working Group on Gender and Climate Change said matters of gender and climate change will take centre stage during the meeting.

“The Paris Agreement of COP 21, which forms the platform to address the gender agenda in climate change, commits Parties when taking action to address climate change, to respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, as well as on gender equality and the empowerment of women.  This therefore calls for gender responsive adaptation actions and capacity building activities,” she said.

Masiko is of the opinion, therefore, that gender responsiveness and gender equality should be considered in all the negotiations and that Parties should appoint a gender focal point in each country.

“There are gender sensitive decisions, which include improving the participation of women in the representation of the Parties in bodies established under the UNFCCC or the Kyoto Protocol, and to improve the participation of women in all bodies established pursuant to the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol,” she said.

As of 24 October 2016, a total of 83 out of 197 Parties, including Uganda, had ratified the Paris Agreement. The Agreement sets out global action to address climate change by limiting global warming to 2°C.

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