|Overview : |
Today, more than half of the people on the planet live in urban areas and this proportion is expected to increase significantly over the coming decades. Meanwhile urban areas account for between 37 and 49 per cent of global GHG emissions (IPCC 2014) and are heavily vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Cities, particularly in developing countries, are especially vulnerable to climate change due to the large concentration of populations and their role as national economic hubs.
Uganda’s population is at 34.5 million, annual population growth rate of 3.1%, making it one of the fastest growing countries in Africa. Uganda’s urbanizing level is 18%, the urban population growth rate is over 5% per annum, It is projected that by 2035 the total population will be 68 million with about 30% (20 million) living in urban areas. Whereas this increase is associated with socio-economic transformation of the country, it has also led to increased vulnerability of our urban areas to the effects of disasters arising from climate change.
It is important to note that Climate change is a serious challenge for cities around the world, particularly in developing countries including Uganda where urbanization is happening at a high rate. It threatens to increase vulnerabilities, destroy economic gains, and hinder social and economic development. And the urban poor will bear the brunt of its effects since they live and work in informal settlements that are more exposed to hazards. Other risks resulting from
climate change that typically affect the cities include exacerbation of the urban heat island effect; increased demand for cooling; greater stress on water resources; wider geographical incidence of vector-borne disease; increased disruption to transport from snow or ice, flooding, strong winds and landslides; withdrawal of risk coverage in vulnerable areas by private insurers, commerce, and economic activity; land degradation; lower agricultural yields and increased risk of food shortages.
Cities in developing countries, however, have also the opportunity of leapfrogging by creating low carbon and resource efficient energy infrastructure. This cannot be done without integrated urban policy and plans that incorporate a climate change focus, addressing basic infrastructure and daily needs of citizens and accounting for specific vulnerable groups on one hand and, on the other, by strengthening local community efforts at copying and adapting and planning for the extra investments required to ‘climate proof’ infrastructure (UN HABITAT, 2011a).
Building resilience and adapting to climate change is increasingly a high priority for cities. Besides mitigation, on which efforts have largely focused in the past, cities should today play a larger role in adaptation. Whereas UNDP and various other development institutions are working with governments world over to strengthen their capacity to assess vulnerability to climate change impacts and to identify corresponding plans and investments to increase their resilience, their efforts have been greatly affected by lack of adequate and accurate information, thus making it quite difficult for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate change adaptability measures to be put in place. Much as the climate change policy advocates for mainstreaming of climate change issues in MDA and local government budgets and plans, little has been undertaken to ensure implementation of the policy requirements.
In view of the above the ministry with support from UNDP intends to coordinate the development of guidelines to integrate and mainstream climate change issues in the Lands, Housing and Urban development subsector in the urban local government plans and budgets.
The overall objective of the assignment is to coordinate mainstreaming of Lands, housing and urban development sector climate change issues in local government plans and budgets in Uganda.