By Guest Writer

Uganda is endowed with plenty of natural resources which can offer opportunities for both country men and women regardless of whether   educated or not for social economic transformation of our country.

Green Economy means something that is permanent and adds value to human being and environment in the country. It also refers to sustainable growth that mitigates greenhouse gas emissions that prevents environmental degradation. In addition, it fosters economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets such as forests, land are used sustainably and conserve the environmental services on which wellbeing relies.

According to world bank 2012, Green economy is efficient in its use of natural resources, clean in that it minimizes air , water pollution and environmental impacts and resilient in that it accounts for natural hazards.

However, we need to understand what the examples of green economic alternatives are. These include the following, agriculture, tourism, bee keeping, clean energy, fishery, forestry among others.

It’s very unfortunate that green economic activities are being left behind and under looked by the government of Uganda, public and private sectors while focusing on projects that cause largely negative impacts on both human beings and environment at large.

Agriculture being  the major source of livelihood in Uganda,  According to the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2016/17, the bigger proportion of the working population is engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishing (65%). Among the females in the working population, 70% are engaged in agriculture compared to 58% of the males.

It’s very clear that the largest population benefiting on agriculture   is women because they have the indigenous knowledge on environment, agriculture and yet their decision making powers are less represented in round tables while mitigating climate change impacts.

More so, with more than one billion tourists traveling to an international destination every year, tourism has become a leading economic sector, contributing 9.8% of global GDP and represents 7% of the world’s total exports. Although tourism resources in Uganda are varied, the most significant attention is currently pointed to the country’s landscape and wildlife because they’re the considerable employment, investment, and foreign exchange source.

However, as Ugandans, it’s absurd that features which can attract tourists are being destroyed such as forests, flora and fauna, water bodies, national parks among others. This is due to the fact that we have not known how tourism is so crucial to our country’s economy.

The projects such as East African crude oil pipeline, oil refinery, kingfisher and destruction of Bugoma forest   has resulted to the destruction of the above leading to  loss and displacement of human beings, properties, increased carbon gas emissions, climate change impacts, desertification among others.

It’s noted that these projects has also led to economic loss, food insecurities, early pregnancy, school dropouts, human wild animal conflicts destroying crops, increased poverty, pollution, gender based violence, gender inequalities hence family breakups.

Noteworthy, Uganda’s focus is on oil activities leaving our green economic activities which have full potential to provide jobs, employment for each and every citizen in the country.

Why involve mostly women in promoting green economy, Uganda has an opportunity to build a greener, more sustainable economy by harnessing the skills and talents of women. More to that, achieving national Development Plan 3 goals, there is need to require clear pathways for women to move into more sustainable and profitable sectors of the economy.

It’s noted that Women’s labour powers much of the Ugandan economy, including the agricultural sector where women make up 73% of workers. With the highest levels of female entrepreneurship in the world, who can boost the green economy.

It’s also important ant to note that women earn about half as much as men, as they tend to work in more volatile and insecure jobs and sectors, and their time is heavily constrained by unpaid care work so if they involve in green economic alternatives, there will be reduced injustices in the country.  This will also help in green job creation hence reducing on unemployment.

In my opinion, there is more effort needed to transform to a greener, more sustainable economy, as Uganda commits to create pathways for women to shift into better, higher-paying jobs. It is also critical to design-in measures to ease women’s unpaid care work, through community childcare and flexible skill-building opportunities.

Finally, reducing emissions and vulnerabilities in the agriculture and promoting green economy in Uganda will not happen without women. Empowering women to transit to green economy will provide an opportunity to promote gender equality.

For God and my Country

The author is Ireen Twongirwe the Executive Director Women for Green Economy Movement Uganda {WoGEM}

Disclaimer: We as UG Reports Media LTD we welcome any opinion by any one if it’s of a constructive use to the Development of Uganda. All the expressions and opinions in this write-up are not of UG Reports Media LTD but for the author of the article.

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