United States and Uganda Celebrate Environmental Achievements in Oil Sector

On August 29, 2017, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Uganda Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development co-hosted an event to celebrate environmental achievements of USAID’s Environmental Management for the Oil Sector Activity.

In 2013, USAID launched the Environmental Management for the Oil Sector Activity to address the impacts of oil and gas development on Uganda’s environment, and to strengthen the capacity of Uganda’s institutions to manage those impacts and to participate more fully in decision-making.

U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac highlighted some of the activity’s key successes, including developing the first integrated Petroleum Engineering and Environmental Management Bachelor’s Degree in Uganda at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, a sensitivity atlas for Queen Elizabeth Protected Area, and public information and education materials that will stimulate community dialogue about the petroleum development process and its relationship to environmental quality.

Ambassador Malac presided over a ceremonial handover of environmental monitoring equipment, which will be used by Ugandan government institutions to collect and analyze data to make relevant management decisions for the oil sector. The event also featured remarks from the Minister of Water and Environment, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister.

Emphasizing that more work remains, Ambassador Malac also called for sustained engagement from all stakeholders, stating “The consortium of international oil companies operating in Uganda has declared its intent to leave the petroleum production zones in better ecological condition than they found them, achieving a net positive effect on biodiversity. This ambitious vision will require a strong commitment from industry, effective oversight from government, targeted research from academia, and continued engagement from civil society.”