Collecting data to lower GHG emissions in Uganda

Interview with Aggrey Ntakimanye, Technical Advisor in charge of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification in Northern Uganda Districts

ITWBy 2040, Uganda aims to transform into a middle-income country by promoting low-carbon emissions and more efficient and climate-smart production systems for farmers. According to the World Bank (2019), climate change poses one of the biggest threats to the development of most sub-Saharan countries like Uganda, particularly to their food security and healthy livelihoods. This is becoming particularly pronounced in communities that depend on natural resources for agricultural production, which is affected by unpredictable rainfall patterns, floods, landslides and the increased use of pesticides. Aggrey Ntakimanye is the technical advisor for GCCA+ in Uganda.

 

Where is the Uganda GCCA+ programme heading? 

The main goal of this Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+)-funded project is to support the environment by mainstreaming both climate change mitigation and data-collection training in northern Uganda. This will enhance the ability of local leaders to collect data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from agriculture. This is done by targeting and training 25 000 farmers who are organised into cooperatives to later become agents for change in their communities. The data collected from these farmers will aid local efforts to implement strategies that lower GHG emissions in Uganda and help it to reach its nationally determined contribution (NDC).

Does agriculture have a big weight in Uganda?

Since agriculture accounts for over 25 % of Uganda’s gross domestic product and 70 % of the national labour force, according to ReliefWeb (2019), one challenge the country faces in achieving its NDC is high GHG emissions resulting from unsustainable agricultural practices that put more pressure on natural resources. We are specifically targeting the agricultural sector by monitoring these emissions and collecting data that we can use to advocate for the implementation of climate-smart cultural practices.

Implementing climate-smart agriculture techniques presents a unique set of challenges, particularly as regards human resource and capacity building to train local district government staff to collect data through both primary and secondary data-collection techniques. Once we have an efficient data-collection system, we plan to roll out the same processes and procedures throughout local governments in Uganda. This makes it easy for the climate change department to collect and assess data.

 

What is the specific importance of MRV?

Monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) is a concept that came out of the Paris Agreement which requires all EU donor recipients to support climate change actions. One of the outputs of this project is to reduce the amount of GHG emissions released into the atmosphere, particularly from the agricultural sector. Another project output is to make the practice of climate-smart agriculture accessible to local farmers. While this project is still in its initial stages, where the focus is on recruiting and training local leaders, this alone is helping to create a data-collection database that stakeholders can reference in the northern Ugandan districts.