On 25th and 27th February, 350 Africa brought together more than ten civil society representatives and climate and environmental defenders that are working towards a just transition and directly working with the EACOP affected communities, for a strategic workshop to draw strategies to avoid, mitigate and minimize the impacts on communities, the environment (ecosystems) and the climate in Uganda due to rampant climate change.
The workshop was organized to support civil society efforts to protect the environment and community livelihoods amidst the ongoing climate change impacts in Uganda.
Participants were able to assess the current status of the campaign to protect the environment and community livelihoods amidst potential oil activities and develop a response strategy based on sustainable development principles and case studies from already affected communities in other countries.
The CSOs were grouped to make contributions to the strategic and action plans. This was based on their commitments on climate change, protection of ecosystem areas, human rights protections/ community sensitization, addressing climate change, legal, finance, integration of renewable energy and communication.
However, the strategic plan cannot be exhausted without getting threats from various government agencies that may misinterpret and misunderstand the work done by CSOs and climate and environmental defenders. It’s at this point that 350 Africa facilitated the safety and security analysis session, where each organization analyzed its security using the indicators discussed during the facilitation.
After the threat analysis, the different working groups created during the workshop were later assigned roles and responsibilities.
Communication was also another key aspect highlighted where the CSOs were taken through a storytelling session and this was to guide and equip them with knowledge and skills on how to tell the stories of their work and the activities that they are implementing.
The participants went through the just recovery work at 350 Africa and the organizations that had not registered for the AfrikaVuka platform were introduced to it and invited to join. The workshop was concluded by a summary of workshop achievements and agreements.
The two-day workshop was an interactive discussion where organizations learned, teamed up, and swapped laid strategies of how they were to collaborate so as to mitigate and minimize the impressions of climate change and usher in a just transition that would bring in a swift just recovery not only for Uganda but East Africa to the world.
By Edwin Mumbere, Centre for Citizens Conserving (CECIC)