Kampala, April 22, 2021 – Today is Earth Day, and the United States Mission in Uganda is pleased to announce the launch of the Green Refugee Communities project for environmental conservation. An initiative of the 2019 Alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellowship, the three-month activity will engage refugees and refugee hosting communities to replant the forest cover which was lost when the refugee settlements were established, and to mitigate the effects of climate change caused by deforestation. The project is being implemented by 2019 YALI participants in cooperation with the U.S. Mission, Uganda’s National Environmental Management Authority, the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Tunaweza Foundation.
On April 22 each year, communities across the United States come together to celebrate Earth Day. The first Earth Day events were organized in the United States in 1970 as a response to growing public concern about the degradation of our environment.
“Over the past 50 years, Earth Day has become a global event, and for one important reason: Too many communities around the world still lack access to clean water and clean air, and deforestation is a constant threat. Since 1970, these local problems have been compounded by the urgent global challenge posed by climate change,” U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown said at the April 19 launch of the Green Refugee Communities project. “That’s why the United States has made addressing climate change a global policy priority, and that’s why President Biden announced the United States’ return to the Paris Agreement on climate change on his first day in office,” she said.
Today, President Biden will host 40 world leaders for a summit on climate change to galvanize efforts by the world’s major economies to reduce emissions with the goal of limiting global warming and to mobilize public and private sector finance to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts. “While this global engagement is critical, continued community engagement and activism at the local level is no less important,” Brown told the group of Ugandan youth who are organizing the 2019 YALI Green Refugee Communities project. “The history of Earth Day in the United States demonstrates the power of a mobilized public to promote positive change,” she said, adding that, “planting a tree is a powerful act.”
As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a speech this week, the United States will “empower youth, not just because they will bear more of the consequences of climate change, but also because of the urgency, ingenuity, and leadership they’ve demonstrated in confronting this crisis.”
For additional information, please contact:
Victo Nalule, Executive Director
U.S. Mission Uganda
U.S. Mission Uganda
Tel: +256-414-250-314 x6104