Uganda, like the rest of the world, con­tin­ues to face sig­nif­i­cant cli­mate change chal­lenges which af­fects the nat­ural re­sources, far-reach­ing ef­fects on hu­man be­ings and the en­vi­ron­ment. In 2008, Mem­bers of the 8th Par­lia­ment formed the Par­lia­men­tary Fo­rum on Cli­mate Change‐Uganda (PFCC‐U) to re­spond to the press­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and eco­nomic is­sues pre­sented by Cli­mate Change.

On Wednes­day, 14 Au­gust 2019, a Par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee on Cli­mate Change was of­fi­cially launched and it will be chaired by Hon. Lawrence Biyika Songa. The stand­ing com­mit­tee will scru­ti­nize all bills re­lated to cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion and adap­ta­tion, make rec­om­men­da­tions to Par­lia­ment on le­gal and in­sti­tu­tional mech­a­nisms to ad­dress cli­mate change among other man­dates.

The Com­mit­tee which was ini­tially formed ear­lier in May 2019 seeks to in­ter­act with all stake­hold­ers mainly line min­istries, de­part­ments and agen­cies of gov­ern­ment on cli­mate change, civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions, pri­vate sec­tor and de­vel­op­ment part­ners that cham­pion cli­mate change.

The chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee as­sured Ugan­dans that the com­mit­tee will treat the mat­ter of cli­mate change as a na­tional emer­gency and em­ploy a strict code of op­er­a­tion to en­force com­pli­ance with guide­lines set in the law. He fur­ther added that the no­ble task to re­store our en­vi­ron­ment is one they are ded­i­cated to achieve.

When asked on the im­pact of refugees to the en­vi­ron­ment in refugee host­ing com­mu­ni­ties where they cut down trees for do­mes­tic use, he told the meet­ing that they will work with Refugee agen­cies to en­sure that tree plant­ing ex­er­cises are in­tro­duced.

Hon. Isaac Mulindwa Ssozi, a mem­ber of the Com­mit­tee, hinted on land use and sand min­ing which is de­grad­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. He said that laws that are in line with min­ing do not rec­og­nize sand as a min­eral and im­plored the com­mit­tee to look into this.

The com­mit­tee will res­ur­rect the Tree Fund that was es­tab­lished in the For­est and Tree Plant­ing Act 2003 but is not func­tional. The de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion rate in Uganda is ap­palling, in 1990, the for­est cover was at 24% and now, it’s es­ti­mated to be at 11% ac­cord­ing to the com­mit­tee re­port.