The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda, decease Ms. Rosa Malango has made an appeal for the protection of the environment if Uganda is to attain sustainable industrialization. She expressed concern over what she said was rapid loss of wetlands in the country which has directly affected the livelihoods of close to 4 million people.
Malango was speaking during Tuesday’s high level dialogue that focused on promoting sustainable industrialization in Uganda.
“Uganda must make every necessary effort to protect the environment and harness it for prosperity. The 2016 wetland atlas shows that the country lost over 30% of its wetlands, 500 square kilometres each year between 1994 and 2016,” Malango said in her remarks.
She said, the UN development agency (UNDP) is spearheading efforts to promote a new approach to protection of wetlands through improving the quality of lives of those that encroach for survival. The approach also focuses on facilitating the sustainable relocation of the squatting communities and involving them in planning, development and construction of eco-friendly communities.
“Harnessing green economic growth is no longer just a global aspirations but a sound economic strategy,” she said.
“A report by New Climate Economy Partnership 2016 indicates that if Uganda adopts a deliberate approach to harness green growth opportunities, Uganda’s economic growth could accelerate by an additional 10% by 2040.”
The UN Coordinator urged policy makers to pay keen attention to environmental friendly industrialization while formulating the New Industrialization Policy and Strategy.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda who presided over at the forum hailed the participants for the deliberations and similarly underscored the importance of green industrialization. He said government is making the necessary engagements and efforts to create a resilient, diverse and sustainable economy.
“The issue of green growth is very critical. You need to visit China and a few other recently industrialized economies to appreciate its significance. Problems of pollution have become extremely serious,” Rugunda said.
Rugunda said that industrialization will be a surest means through which Uganda can address the problem of youth unemployment.