Experts from Oxfam Uganda have cautioned the government of Uganda that the increasing human activities on land have played a negative role on climate change tragedies that are being experienced in the country currently.
Like in other countries, climate change impacts in Uganda are very visible, rainy seasons are changing or failing entirely, drought is becoming more persistent, crops are failing because of higher temperature among other effects.
While giving his keynote address during the 3rd Land Learning series at Royal Suites Hotel Bugolobi on Friday, Dr Shuaib Lwasa from Makerere University said that the options to respond to land changes are already identified by government’s strategists but the question is how they should be applied or how Ugandans should deal with them.
“Land is a critical reason in the life of humanity because we rely on it for food, water health and well-being but it’s already passing way due to some of the human practices. We need to know that Agriculture, food production and deforestation are the major drivers of climate change and yet are also essentials of life. Therefore we need to go back to our indigenous ways of farming,” said Lwasa.
Apart from activities of man on the land, Lwasa also said that road transport in Uganda has also played a bigger part in the emission of toxic gases which have lead to increased levels of global warming which in turn have affected seasons in agriculture.
“Recent reports have always indicated air transport as the most emitter of toxic gases but in Africa, especially in Uganda, road transport is the most dangerous where severally DMCs are on the road and their emission of toxic gases is at a high level and this affects both climate and us,” he added.
He, however, said such tragedies can be prevented through applying better land management systems which will support the biodiversity of the consumers.
“Better land management can also play its part in tackling climate change but this can be supported by having competent district land officers and agricultural officers who will enforce some good practices of agriculture that will fight climate change,” he added.
Jane Oraya Irama the interim Country Director Oxfam Uganda said that in Uganda land rights have neglected women yet they use land more than men.
“Land is a greater subject to climate change but also women in many parts of Uganda have been marginalized, their rights have been taken ways, therefore we need to increase awareness and understanding on the nexus between land management and climate change, impact of climate change and possible solutions the raging effect of climate change,” she said adding that land rights must also be addressed by the government.
Resilient Livelihood Manager Oxfam Uganda Harriet Mbabazi also said that in Uganda the demand for land continues to increase large scale land-based investments in agriculture, exploitation of natural resources and infrastructural projects.
“We need collective voice and action to manage issues of deforestation, review land-use policies, call for land investments that are climate-sensitive and support local communities to protect and restore their land using traditional knowledge new methods,” she said.
She added that addressing such issues will require mutual collaboration with the central government who are policymakers to redefine property rights and tenure arrangements, in combination with adaptive and sustainable management of land and natural resources.
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