Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
There are several national and sectoral targets in place for the conservation of ecosystems and biomes, such as wetlands, forest, wildlife, agricultural biodiversity, and dry and sub-humid lands. The Forest Nature Conservation Master Plan, designating different forest types for different uses (Natures Reserves, Buffer Zones and Production Zones), National Wetlands Strategic Plan (2001-2010), National Forest Plan 2002, Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) – the main Government planning framework, Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA), among others, consider the need to protect biodiversity and proper natural resources management.
Management plans for all protected areas are in the process of being revised or prepared. Policies, laws and regulations regarding conservation have been revised and the respective institutions streamlined with a view to strengthening them. A number of efforts are in place at national and sectoral levels to promote the conservation of species diversity such as: the re-introduction of the White Rhino; primates conservation including the Mountain Gorilla around Bwindi National Park; and forest restoration in different parts of the country. In addition, the principle of sustainable harvesting is practiced and incorporated in management plans of all forest, wildlife and fisheries systems. Forest plantations as well as fish farming/aquaculture have been expanded. The legal framework has also been reviewed to enable wildlife ranching by private people.
The indicators used include trends in: the extent of ecosystems and habitats; the abundance and distribution of selected species; and ecosystem integrity in relation to pollution, encroachment and exploitation levels. Indicators for Monitoring Environment Quality and Trends (including biodiversity) have been prepared, and are a milestone towards obtaining information for the achievement of the 2010 target.
On enhancing transboundary management of wildlife, an MoU between the 3 Protected Area Authorities (Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), ORTPN & ICCN) was signed in Goma in January 2004, detailing collaboration objectives of the Transboundary Collaborative Management of the Central Albertine Rif (CAR). The Strategic Plan for the Transboundary Protected Areas and the entire CAR landscape was developed as a framework to guide this collaboration over the next ten years.
Other: Laws and policies have been put in place to promote biodiversity conservation which include the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, the National Environment Act, the Wildlife Act, the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act, the National Environment Policy, the National Wetlands Policy, the Forestry Policy, among others. Restoration activities have been undertaken in some of the degraded national parks, wildlife reserves, forest reserves and wetlands. Reintroduction of the previously extinct Northern White Rhino has been carried out.
A National Strategy for the Control and Management of Invasive Species is being developed (Article 8h).
Environment Impact Assessment Regulations have been put in place which provide for activities/projects likely to have adverse impacts on biodiversity (Article 14 of CBD) to undertake an EIA and then NEMA, in consultation with lead agencies. Projects are granted approval depending on the adequacy of the mitigation measures.
A draft Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy has been prepared and is awaiting Government approval. A Biosafety Bill is also being prepared.
Uganda carried out a National Capacity Needs Self Assessment (NSCA) for the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) focusing on CBD, UNCCD, UNFCCC and Agreements on International Waters.
A draft Policy on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) has been prepared (by MAIIF). PGRFA are the basis and foundation of our agricultural system and therefore the cornerstone of our economy and livelihoods. The Plant Genetic Resources Unit of National Agricultural Research Organization is carrying out, among others, the documentation of indigenous knowledge pertaining to Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA), as well as the promotion of traditional methods of conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
The Ugandan government has put in place protected area systems to enhance the conservation of biodiversity (Article 8 of CBD). These include forest reserves, national parks, wildlife reserves and Ramsar sites (Lake George and Lake Nabugabo). The Government of Uganda has moved further and gazetted two national parks – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mount Rwenzori Mountains National Park – world heritage sites while Queen Elizabeth National has been gazetted as a Man and Biosphere Reserve and discussion is in advanced stages to gazette Mount Elgon as a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. The wildlife sector formulated a policy on community conservation, where communities involved in management contribute to the management of protected areas. A revenue-sharing programme and collaborative resources management are also in place to further strengthen community participation. Communities are also being empowered and sensitized on sustainable management of forests and other biological resources occurring on their land through a collaborative forest management arrangement.
Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing
The Regulations on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing have been prepared and approved by Government (Article15 of CBD). The Regulations are now being implemented through the Competent Authority – Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.
A Country Case Study on the Implementation of the Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing was undertaken and implementation of the recommendations is ongoing through, for example, the development of Guidelines for Accessing Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing in Uganda.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Regarding indigenous knowledge related to traditional medicine, the Ministry of Health is working closely with traditional medical practitioners and traditional birth attendants to promote, conserve and protect traditional knowledge as it relates to biodiversity and traditional medicine.