In Uganda, the government uses the National Development Plan (NDP) planning framework to achieve medium and long-term development goals in country. All sectors have to mainstream their sectoral plans and programmes into the NDP. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action (NBSAP) has also been mainstreamed into the NDP, so that it is part of and contributes to the country’s medium and long-term development process in Uganda. Communicating the value of NBSAPS outside of the Ministry of the Environment was critical to the success of the project. The National Planning Authority and the Ministry of Finance were key partners.
The NBSAP review process provided stakeholders involved in biodiversity conservation and management the opportunity to share experiences, challenges and to agree on what needs to be done to improve biodiversity conservation and management in Uganda. The NBSAP revision process also made it possible to demonstrate the contribution of biodiversity to national development, achievement of SDGs, livelihood improvement and also how to address issues on traditional knowledge in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
The first Uganda NBSAP (NBSAP1) was not mainstreamed into NDPI; therefore, it was viewed largely as a standalone document. This resulted into a major challenge in justifying the allocation of resources for NBSAP1 implementation. To avoid a similar occurrence for NBSAP2, which was revised in 2015, the team lobbied to mainstream the NBSAP into the second NDP (NDP2). The NBSAP and NDP review and revision took place during the same period, and fully took advantage of UN negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The action taken:
To ensure that NBSAP2 was mainstreamed in NDP2, several non-environmental government agencies were brought into the NBSAP revision process early. The National Planning Authority (NPA), which is the government agency responsible for the development of NDPs, and the Ministry of Finance, participated from the onset. Other key government ministries, departments and agencies, as well as academia, research institutions, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and representatives of IPLCs were also involved from the beginning of the review and updating process. Capacity building workshops were held to build awareness about the NBSAP - what it is, its importance and how other sectors can contribute to the NBSAP review process and its implementation.
To fully engage the stakeholders in the process, four thematic working groups were created:
1. Policy, legislation and institutional framework
2. Aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity
3. Biotechnology and biosafety
4. Biodiversity and national development
The working groups were comprised of technical staff from government ministries, agencies and departments, as well as district local government officers, academia and research institutions, private sector businesses, civil society organizations, and non-governmental organizations. There were also representative of multilateral agreements from other Conventions: UNFCCC, CITIES, RAMSAR, UNCCD and CMS. The members had diverse expertise and professional background, and included: economists, taxonomists, foresters, botanists, zoologists, lawyers, statisticians, biotechnologists, bioinformatics specialists, hydrologists, soil scientists, information scientists, ITC specialists, teachers, environmental scientists, GIS and remote sensing specialists, veterinary scientists and accountants. The terms of reference of the thematic working groups were developed using COP Decisions X/2 and X/10.
The thematic working groups completed stocktaking assessments by collecting and synthesizing the existing baseline information that would be used to guide the review process. They also participated in the setting of national biodiversity targets within the framework of Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The thematic working groups also contributed reports, which a consultant used to prepare the NBSAPs. The consultant worked very closely with the thematic working groups. Working group members were encouraged to work together through e-mail. Focus group meetings were held for the groups to meet and share ideas on progress. Most importantly, it was made clear to group members that their names would be included in the NBSAP2.
To address the financial challenges that arose when trying to implement NBSAP1, the team developed National Guidelines for Financing Biodiversity Conservation. This work was completed in tandem with the process to review and update the NBSAP. COP Decision X/ guided this action. Lastly, preparation of Uganda’s Fifth National Report was carried out using the information provided by the thematic working groups.
- dentify and involve stakeholders early in the NBSAP process.
- The concepts of biodiversity and NBSAPs are not clearly understood by most people.
- Demonstrate the linkage and contribution of biodiversity to national development and livelihood improvement.
- The creation of the thematic working groups helped in addressing these lessons.
- Coordinating a large group of people from different institutions and professional backgrounds is important.
- Keep the thematic groups committed and focused on their activities. Support them in balancing time for NBSAP review process and official duties.
- The NBSAP2 is mainstreamed into the NDP2. Because the NBSAP2 is now part of the government’s development agenda, it is therefore possible to make justifications to for the government to allocate resources for implementing NBSAP2.
- Awareness on the purpose and value of NBSAPs has been created across sectors. This has been demonstrated by sectors taking responsibility for implementing national biodiversity targets that fall within their mandate. The sectors that are responsible for implementing a specific national biodiversity target is referred to a “Target Champions”.
- The document called “Guidelines and Action Plans for Financing Biodiversity Conservation” has been developed to assist in lobbing the Ministry of Finance to increase resource allocations for biodiversity conservation, which broadly includes implementing the NBSAP. Because of this work, Uganda is one the 30 pilot countries that received financial support from the European Union, and the governments to assist in identifying ways and means of mobilizing financial resources to address the funding gap for biodiversity conservation.
- Information provided by the thematic working groups contributed significantly to the preparation of the Fifth National Report for Uganda. The report was submitted within the timeframe agreed by COP.
- Mainstreaming of NBSAP2 into sectoral and district development plans has commenced. Uganda has received support from IIED to carry out this process.
- The other benefits process included provisions of up-to-date information for institutions during the NBSAP review process through the thematic working groups, sharing of information and experiences, capacity built among members on review and updating of NBSAP, strengthened institution collaboration and networking, increased ownership of the NSBAP and wide publicity of the NBSAP
- Gender considerations are being mainstreamed in the advance copy of NBSAP2. NBSAP1 had no gender considerations. Uganda is carrying out this process in collaboration with IUCN. The Japan Biodiversity Fund through SCBD is supporting this aspect of the work.
- The NBSAP2 incorporates SDGs, as summarized the conceptual framework in Attachment .