A review of Uganda's national policies relevant to climate change adaptation and mitigation: insights from Mount Elgon.
Climate change is expected to bring new challenges and opportunities for the livelihoods of rural communities in Uganda, where more than 80% of the population depends on rain-fed agriculture. The purpose of this review was to analyze national policies on climate change adaptation, agriculture, forests, management of forested and agroforested landscape ecosystems and their goods and services, and the roles of stakeholders in the national arena. Recognizing the role of forest cover in climate change mitigation and adaptation, this review is based on stakeholder engagement and analysis of published literature on the policy, institutional and socioeconomic drivers of forest cover change around Mount Elgon. The bulk of Ugandas forests are on land under private ownership and deforestation has occurred mainly in such forests. Several national laws and international conventions ratified by Uganda offer a framework under which forests are managed. Management of protected forests is shared between central and local authorities. Several natural resource policies are likely to have significant unintended impacts that may enable or limit the adaptation of stakeholders and ecosystems to climate change. The current climate change policy, which is an overarching document that addresses climate change in Uganda, suggests that policy responses, either sector specific or crosscutting in nature, be harmonized in order to better address the challenges associated with climate change adaptation and mitigation.