Prioritise restoration of environment, says Museveni

Climate Change -->
Prioritise restoration of environment, says Museveni
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja represented President Museveni

President Museveni emphasised the importance of environmental conservation during his keynote address at the World Environment Day Celebration in Sironko.

In his message at the Environment Day, celebrated under the theme, "Land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience", Mr Museveni said there was an urgent need for concerted environmental action.

"We are duty-bound to preserve this pearl and even enhance its beauty by intensifying tree planting rather than destroying or degrading it," the President, who was represented by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, said.

He highlighted the tangible progress made in environmental restoration targets, President Museveni highlighted milestones and ongoing interventions aimed at consolidating these achievements.

Particularly, Museveni boosted of conservation of the six national parks increasing the forest cover from 9.5 percent in 2015 to the present 13.3 percent against the 15 percent target by the year 2026.

"Number two, increasing the intact wetland cover from 8.9 in 2019 to now 9.3 of the land surface of Uganda,” said Museveni.

"Our target is to raise this further to 15.5 percent by the year 2040 through wetland recovery and restoration.”

Museveni emphasised the government’s goal of increasing electricity generation, as well as reduction of prices for gas and solar energy to curb over-reliance on biomass.

“The commencement of oil drilling will enable the production of affordable cooking gas for our people,” he said.

The President's remarks were echoed by Environment State minister Beatrice Anywar, who disclosed that the government had finalised the restoration of all wetlands in the country.

Minister Anywar said the enforcement of this measure was already underway, with gazettement completed and ownership firmly established by the government.

The President underscored the urgent need for collective action to combat land degradation, citing the destruction of forests and wetlands as primary contributors.

He urged all citizens to refrain from activities that exacerbate land degradation, emphasizing the direct link between environmental degradation and the occurrence of natural disasters such as landslides and mudslides.

Museveni rallied citizens to actively engage in efforts to restore and preserve Uganda's natural beauty and glory as the pearl of Africa.

“If we allow the environment to be degraded the much talked of beauty and potential wealth of the pearl of Africa will be no more,” he said.

"We are duty-bound to preserve this pearl and even enhance its beauty by intensifying tree planting rather than destroying or degrading it.”

Livingstone Giruli, the Chairperson of Sironko District, advocated for increased funding for environmental and natural resources sectors.

Giruli emphasized the integration of ecological and climate change considerations into national and district plans, programs, and budgets as a critical step in ensuring sustainable development.

World Environment Day is commemorated on 5th June every year among all United Nations countries to raise environmental protection awareness.

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