|Overview : |
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT SECTOR SUPPORT SERVICES
TERMS OF REFERENCE
Government in its Post Constitutional Reform restructured all government ministries and departments to bring them in line with the provisions of the 1995 Constitution and the 1997 Local government Act. The mandates, functions and responsibilities of the ministries and structures were clearly explained then. The mandate of the Directorate of Environment Affairs as derived from Article 189 of the Constitution and sections 96-98 of the Local Government Act 1997 is to regulate, supervise and coordinate (divested and decentralized functions
In 1998, when the Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment was restructured, the Department of Environment of Environment Affairs was created to execute the role of central government over the corresponding divested and decentralized functions in environmental management. Later the Directorate of Environment Affairs was created and the Department of Environment Support Services performs delegated functions on behalf of the Directorate of Environment Affairs. These include formulation of environment policy framework, setting standards, regulation, coordination, national plans, technical backstopping, training, resources mobilization, inspection and monitoring and supervision of actors in the sub-sector including divested agencies like the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), National Forest Authority (NFA) as well as Local Governments and other implementing agencies in order to harness sustainable use of environmental resources and ensure a healthy, safe and clean environment.
Government recognizes the new global effort to relate the elements of the international economic system and mankind's need for a safe and stable natural environment. Government has signed many multilateral agreements, which oblige it to implement the conventions and protocols to which it is signatory. In this view, government is supposed to design its domestic policy in line with the multilateral agreements. The Ministry of Water and Environment is responsible for formulating policy on environment. In line with this, the Directorate of Environment Affairs plans to create an enabling environment for policy formulation.
Given the mandate and functions, the Department of Environment Support Services requires a clear vision, goals, objectives and strategies to effectively execute its mandate. This calls for a Strategic Plan, which provides a clear vision, goals and objectives over a long time, which will guide the Department to deliver on these goals and objectives. The plan will analyze the current situation and clearly show how the needs of the country shall be met regarding environment and natural resources management in the next 10 years. The strategic plan will also be used as a tool for fundraising as it will clearly show the resources required to achieve the vision and goals of the department.
2. General Background
Over the last two decades, Uganda has enjoyed unprecedented socioeconomic transformation, thanks to the political stability, support from development partners, and astuteness of the Ugandan people. Total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for example, has more than doubled between 1990 and 2010. This development is hinged largely on natural resources and environment – more than 90% of agriculture is rain-fed, thanks to year-round availability of rain; the budding tourism industry is based on beautiful landscape, biodiversity and conducive climate.
However, there are concerns that the rapid economic growth that Uganda has enjoyed over the last 2 decades is slowing down due the rampant environmental degradation. For instance, the sector share of GDP remains at 21% having reduced from 47.7% in the late 1990’s and 46.1% in the early 2000’s. The sector also continues to absorb the largest share of labour force, with more than 73% of the population relying on the natural resource base for their livelihood, which is a serious threat to the environment and natural resources. The underlying cause of this environmental degradation and pollution can be attributed essentially to inadequate environmental governance. This may sound paradoxical considering the existence of seemingly strong environmental institutions (that include the Ministry of Water and Environment (MoWE), the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)), a strong environmental legislative regime created in the early to mid-1990s, and large-scale training of environmental professionals and researchers at graduate and post-graduate level.
In 2010, the Government of Uganda (GoU) launched the National Development Plan (NDP), which is a five-year plan detailing the development priorities that the GoU intends to achieve in the next 5 years. The NDP, whose implementation is spearheaded by the National Planning Authority (NPA), has set ambitious targets in different sectors, and is the first major attempt at mainstreaming environmental issues into the national development process.
While the NDP potentially provides a big opportunity for Uganda to get on a sustainable development path, there are major bottlenecks in its implementation. Without sufficient funding and human resources backed by clear institutional linkages and legislation for the environment and Natural Resources sub-sector, the achievements made in various economic, governance and social sector domains could be reversed and efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and NDP targets will be undermined. Indeed, the National MDGs Progress Report, 2010, indicates very slow progress towards MDG 7 targets – integrating environmental sustainability into development policies (Target 7A) and reducing biodiversity loss (target 7B).
3 Justification for the Environment Strategic Plan for DESSS
Given the complex challenges facing the environment sector, the GoU cannot effectively address environmental concerns with the existing capacities and budgets. More so, piecemeal interventions are unlikely to address complex issues such as harmonization of sectoral policies and plans, review of legislative and institutional frameworks, and developing capacity and incentives for effective environmental law enforcement. These require more comprehensive interventions with long-term orientation. It is for this reason that a comprehensive Strategic Plan for the environmental sub-sector is required to guide coordination of the efforts in the sector. This will strengthen efforts to implement the WESP (2007…) NDP and Vision 2030 to address national priorities as well as address requirements for regional cooperation and international environmental governance.
In the past, many studies and reviews have been undertaken and identified key issues to be implemented. These include a review of the Functional Structure of the Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, of (1999), the framework for Environmental Governance in Uganda (2003), a functional Analysis of Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment (2004) among others.