In attendance were some 50 public servants including the District Environmental Officer, District Production Officer, fisheries, forestry, civil society delegates from the Hunger Project, Kiboga Farmers Association and Kiboga Power as well as high schools geography teachers.
Following a keynote address by Kiboga’s District Production Officer (DPO), Climate Reality Leader Timothy Mugerwa presented on what climate change is, its causes and impacts, what one can do about it – individually and collectively – and existing solutions. The presentation also touched upon the international process to address climate change globally, particularly the Paris agreement and the upcoming COP22. In this perspective, Timothy gave the audience a tour of the ‘Big Five Green Asks’ encapsulating the focus areas and recommendations of Climate Reality Leaders from across Africa as to what is needed to build low-carbon, climate-resilient development pathways on the continent.
The session then led to an open discussion. Participants were in agreement that climate change action is more than a need but expressed concern over organisations that talk without acting. They also pointed out the lack of climate change awareness activities within their district, which translates in high numbers of climate illiterates.
The major outcome of the dialogue is to have set a precedent for 2017 activities and encouraged people to actively participate in the implementation of the measures to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate.
Particularly, the district and participants accepted to work with the African Climate Reality Project in addressing climate change in Kiboga district. A series of recommendations were made with a strong commitment to turning theory into practice:
- Adopt sustainable agriculture practices that has minimal impact on the environment
- Develop strategies of mobilising communities to take action
- Disseminate information to lower levels, for instance via community radio programmes
- Government to establish strict laws against environment abusers
- Establish climate change centers / clubs in schools and communities
- Continue sensitisation and training forums, including through community-based dialogues
- Address gender issues
- Re-afforestation and plant more trees.
All school representatives were tasked to start climate change / environmental clubs in their schools. These clubs would provide a framework to initiate a number of concrete actions such as starting or improving school gardens, hosting presentations, holding sensitisation / training activities and planting trees.
In his closing remarks, the vice Chairman of the Local Councile commended the Kiboga district and Timothy Mugerwa for this interactive dialogue session that goes a long way educating community stakeholders on what they can do to build a climate-resilient future.
The meeting received media coverage such as this article published in Chimpreport. In a UBC broadcast aired on 22 October in both Luganda (local language) and English, Timothy Mugerwa had advertised the event as well as raised awareness on the climate change and the Big Five Green Asks.