The Government of Uganda and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have today signed a financing agreement for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) project to restore degraded wetlands, improve ecosystems, strengthen climate information and early warning systems.

Hon. Matia Kasaija, the Finance Minister signed on behalf of the Government and Ms. Rosa Malango, the UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator for Uganda signed on behalf of UNDP. It was witnessed by Hon. Sam Cheptoris, the Minister of Water and Environment during a ceremony held at Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development offices in Kampala.

The project is the UN’s response to the President of Uganda’s Presidential Initiative on Wetlands and a key spoke in the Government of Uganda’s integrated approach to building climate resilience and contributing to targets outlined in the Paris Agreements, 2030 Agenda, Sendai Framework and other Global Accords.

“Addressing the effects of climate change and mitigating them remains key for the Government of Uganda. This project will therefore be key for improved management of wetlands and other environmental resources enabling us to achieve the goals of our second National Development Plan, Vision 2040 as well as the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Hon. Kasaija said during the signing ceremony.

He also thanked UNDP for working with the Government to acquire the GCF funding which will be an addition to the national budget and other government efforts to fight the effects of climate change.

The eight-year “Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda” project is supported with a US$24 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, US$2 million from UNDP and US$18.12  million in co-financing from the Government of Uganda.

“The project will augment our efforts to safeguard the environment and its natural resources”, Hon Sam Cheptoris Minister of Water and Environment said. He underscored the need to restore degraded ecosystems specifically wetlands and forests in order to contribute towards the realization of Vision 2040 and the middle income status. He pledged his Ministry’s continued commitment to ensure that the project is successfully implemented and the set targets are fully realised.

Ms. Malango, the UNDP Representative emphasized that the project’s main goal is to enable communities living near wetlands have alternative livelihoods that encourage wise use of this resource enabling them to be part of efforts to restore the wetlands.

“Restoration of wetlands is just the beginning, these conservation efforts will also be replicated and extended to protect forests and wildlife areas among others, so that Uganda is able to wholesomely address the issues of environmental degradation,” Ms. Malango stated.

This project builds on UNDP’s other efforts in climate change mitigation, including a Wetlands Atlas developed by UNDP, UNEP and the Government of Uganda which was  launched during the World Wetlands Day celebrations in February this year. In addition, UNDP held a dialogue to promote green industrialisation and also launched an emergency response strategy for refugees in West Nile, one of whose key components is environment protection,