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Colorado College

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Program Name

Uganda: Development Studies

Abstract

Uganda’s “National Policy for the Conservation and Management of Wetland Resources” was launched in 1995 to promote the protection of Uganda’s wetlands in order to sustain their ecological and socioeconomic functions. Despite the formal policy, wetlands continue to be drained and converted. This report examines factors that account for the divide between the National Wetlands Policy and reality. Six weeks were spent researching the challenges associated with implementing the National Wetlands Policy. Kabale District was used as a case-study to better understand the issues that institutions and stakeholders face when trying to abide by the precepts of the policy. Rapid Rural Appraisal techniques were used to extrapolate information while in the field, and formal interviews with environmental officers were conducted while based in Kampala. The research concluded that institutions struggle to implement the National Wetlands Policy due to a shortage of funding, bureaucratic discord, the politicization of wetland issues and a lack of wetland knowledge. Wetland stakeholders have difficulty complying with the policy due to constraining environmental and social factors, unprofitable wise-use activities, unavailable or environmentally destructive alternatives to wetland cultivation, a lack of commitment, decreased dependency on wetland resources and the lingering effects of pre-existing laws and leases. Despite these challenges, the National Wetlands Policy has still positively contributed to environmental management in Uganda and is a notable example of wetlands conservation in the world.

Disciplines

Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy

 

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