Uganda’s ‘modernisation’ theory is the more problematic than EACOP

In a October 2015 Ministry of Water and Environment report titled: “Uganda’s intended nationally determined contribution”, which I read in 2017, I learnt:

“Uganda has contributed least to the potentially catastrophic build up of the human-derived greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere and yet the country is most vulnerable to global warming and climate change impacts. (Uganda has one of the lowest green-house gas emissions per capita in the world, estimated at 1.39 tons carbon dioxide, far below the global average of approximately 7.99 tons of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, Uganda’s contribution to world’s total green-house emission is estimated at 0.099%).”

Ministry of Water and Environment

My view then was that this will not continue to hold if Uganda continue’s to work towards the ‘modernisation’, ‘industrialisation’ ‘middle-income’ thingy … Six years later there are plenty of climate change catastrophes that are symptomatic of the negative consequences of Uganda’s push to modernise and industrialise in a certain way so as to achieve middle income status.

A crucial example, case in point, is the destruction of forest cover in Uganda in order to accommodate the ‘modern lifestyle’ is eroding Uganda’s minimal contribution as among small emitter of greenhouse gases. My recent drive through Mabira forest was depressing for it would appear that only the trees along the highway survive and the bulk of it has been destroyed.

At my ancestral home in Pallisa, these days one can see for miles for nearly all forest cover has been cut down. In fact, it is rare to find land that is let fallow to regenerate, all is either under cultivation and or is settled on for homesteads. Through my travels throughout the country, it would appear that the case in my village is the norm countrywide.

This is why I surmise that the push that the thinking behind the modernisation and industrialisation rhetoric that drives government policy in general is the more dangerous for Uganda, in terms of environmental destruction.

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