Uganda’s Constitution of 19621 addresses land issues; however, it does not attend to environmental matters. The Forests Act of 1947 is one of the few environmental regulations before 1992.
The 2006 Constitution2 ‘s 17th Article states that “the duties of a citizen are- [...] (j) to create and protect a clean and healthy environment”. The 39th Article of the same Constitution clearly provides the right to a clean and healthy environment. Article 245 provides for the Protection and preservation of the environment : “Parliament shall by law provides for measures intented to –
- protect and preserve the environment from abuse, pollution and degradation;
- manage the environment for sustainable development; and
- promote environmental awareness.”
It also explicitly states the importance of environmental protection in Chapter 15.
The passing of the National Environment Act in 1995 precipitated the development of various other acts and regulations pertaining to nature and resource management.
The National Environmental Act of 1995 is Uganda’s framework law on environment. It provides for audit, monitoring, impact assessments, and environmental easements. It establishes economic and social incentives, civil and penal sanctions, and environmental performance bonds. The Act has also created the Policy Committee on the Environment and the National Environment Fund as part of a collaborative framework of lead agencies and other stakeholders in environmental management.
The National Environment Act of 1995 established the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) with responsibility for coordinating, monitoring, regulating, and supervising environmental management in the country. The agency has developed and implemented a series of policies, laws, and regulations on sound environmental management. These include soil quality, waste management, noise controls, and wetlands, river banks and lakeshore management, among others. Details and comprehensive descriptions can be found on the National Environment Management Authority's website.
Uganda’s Casebook and Handbook on Environmental Law can be accessed through the UNEP website.
Further information on Ugandan environmental legislation can be accessed through the official website of the Ministry on Water and Environment.