Uganda’s approach to reporting climate actions from all sectors
October 2022 – The African continent is – historically and currently – the lowest contributor to the global GHG emissions, however, it’s the most vulnerable continent to climate change impacts, according to the latest IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. The Africa Climate Week in Libreville, held from 29 August to 2 September 2022, was an important space for African nations to collaborate on the road to COP27. The week unifies a continental voice on the urgency of implementation of climate adaptation and solidified actions that will be brought to COP27. The overall message from the week was clear: no more commitment talks, it’s time for action and implementation!
As countries move forward with implementing their climate plans, such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), the question becomes: how do nations track their actions, progress and contributions to the global climate goals? At the Africa Climate Week, Uganda presented its approach to monitoring, reporting and verifying the climate actions of their national government, local governments, civil society, and the private sector. Uganda takes an inclusive approach to reporting, which enhances transparency, builds capacity, and can be replicated in other countries.
The design of Uganda’s tool
Uganda developed an integrated Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Tool that is a user-friendly web-based platform hosted by the Ministry of Water and Environment. The purpose of the MRV Tool is to enhance data collection, reporting and tracking five components which include the reporting at the national level for developing climate change reports, such as the annual NDC report on how Uganda’s targets have been achieved and the Biannual Transparency Report (BTR). The Tool will ultimately enhance transparency at the ministerial level and help streamline their work.
The MRV tool acts as a key data base for reporting at national level on Greenhouse Gas inventory, adaptation and mitigation actions and the generated reports are submitted annually and bi- annually such as National Communications and Biennial Technical reports. In addition, the tool enhances coordination among key public and private sector stakeholders (including utilities, equipment and fuel suppliers, other government ministries and departments, the Utilities, Regulatory Authorities, and other development partners) on GHG emission, mitigation and adaptation actions, financial flows, and alignment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) impacts of mitigation and adaptation actions and monitoring and progress on achieving the SDGs.
Now finalized, the MRV Tool has several components, including greenhouse gas inventory, tracking NDC action for both adaptation and mitigation, climate finance flows and how all this will impact the Sustainable Development Goals targets in Uganda. Uganda looked at the IPCC sectors to design this tool, so the following sectors will be trackable for each component: the energy, agriculture, forestry and land use, transport, waste, and Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU) sectors.
Building capacity at all levels
The next step will be capacity building on how to use the tool. Several trainings will be delivered at different levels: national and sub-national. Trainings will take a sectoral approach. Each of the sector ministries including Ministry for Water and Environment, Agriculture, Transport and Energy will have a dedicated MRV Focal Point that will be trained on how to use and contribute data to the national level MRV tool. To ensure longevity and sustainability of the MRV Tool, Uganda will conduct a ‘training-of-trainer’s’ approach. The trained MRV Focal Points in the Ministries will cascade the training sessions down to the district level. This will help bolster the capacity to manage this tool within the vertical institutions. Together under the UNDP Climate Promise phase 2 and the SCALA Programme, Uganda will be supported throughout the capacity building trainings planned.
One of the recurring topics at the Africa Climate Week was about representation in the implementation of climate solutions: being more top-down and that those affected the most by climate change at the local level are not involved as much as they should be. This MRV Tool will focus on data collection from the district and lower community levels as well. Part of the trainings for this tool will engage the district local government Natural Resource Management Officers and production department officers. The tool is completely free to use, and data can easily be captured and entered by the trained local government focal points.
Where the private sector can contribute
Like many countries, Uganda is focused on engaging the private sector for more climate action. The NDC Support Programme helped Uganda create a business case for private sector engagement in climate actions, which has further informed the private sector engagement training held under the FAO-UNDP SCALA Programme. Uganda will collaborate with the umbrella body of private sector actors: the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, which has over 200 business associations. UNDP has scoped out the various services provided by each business – some companies provide services for irrigation, renewable energy technologies while some companies are involved in risk management and others work in the agriculture sector.
Several financial institutions and banks in Uganda are developing green financing products in their agenda for green energy access, agriculture loans for risk financing like solar-powered irrigation schemes, and crop insurance mechanisms. Uganda SCALA programme and Climate Promise 2 initiative sees an opportunity in raising awareness and conducting some matchmaking with companies in these areas. The private sector engagement work will be tracked in the MRV tool as well, so these efforts can be counted towards the climate actions taken. The MRV trainings being conducted with the whole-of-government will also be extended to the private sector.
Furthermore, SCALA in Uganda has roundtable discussions planned with the private sector to engage them in opportunities for investment in climate adaptation in the agriculture and land use sectors, specifically. Under the SCALA Programme, FAO in Uganda is working on a systems-level assessment of the Cattle Corridor that also aims to assess the current and potential investment opportunities as well as technologies for building agriculture resilience in the Cattle Corridor. Assessment output will further inform investment areas to draw in private sector financing and involvement..
The MRV Tool is a tangible solution to NDC reporting in countries. The tool meets the objectives of Uganda’s work being implemented under the SCALA programme in the country, UNDP Climate Promise 2 Initiative and the NDC Support programme. Kenya, Ghana and Uganda are among some of the countries in Africa that have designed an MRV Tool for NDC reporting and it’s a model that can be replicated in countries looking for a tool that embraces monitoring, reporting and tracking of all sectoral contributions to climate action.
This article was written following an interview conducted with Ms. Gloria Namande from the UNDP Uganda Office and focal point for the Climate Promise Initiative and supporting Scaling Up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture (SCALA) Programme at the Africa Climate Week in Libreville Gabon. The SCALA Programme is implemented by FAO and UNDP and funded by Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI).