The newsletter highlights the work that we did and milestones that we attained in 2021. Some of our key milestones included:
We supported the formation of a local community taskforce to defend Bugoma forest from oil, sugarcane and land grabbing challenges. Among others, the taskforce mobilised over 20,000 people to petition the president and other stakeholders in 2021 to protect Bugoma forest.
In addition, with our partners, we pressured the Ministry of Lands and National Forestry Authority (NFA) to open the Bugoma forest boundaries starting in November 2021 to protect the forest from land grabbing pressures. However, the Ministry of Lands and NFA failed to ensure participation of the Save Bugoma Forest Campaign (SBFC) in the boundary opening amidst other challenges.
Further, we empowered over 41,000 oil-affected community members including women and youth from 14 districts to defend their land and environment rights as well as to promote clean energy. The people engaged district authorities, the Ministry of Energy, Uganda Human Rights Commission, police, TotalEnergies and others to defend civic space, the environment, land rights and promote clean energy.
In addition, we used litigation in Ugandan, East African and international courts to protect oil-affected communities’ rights and defend the environment from oil risks and threats. We and our partners sent precedents when a judge removed himself from hearing a Bugoma forest court case in Uganda in December 2021 and when the Supreme Court in France ruled in December 2021 that the case we and our partners brought against Total in France could be heard by the civil court.
We also influenced or made input into over six energy-related policies and laws. Notably, some of our and our partners’ recommendations on the 2021 EACOP (Special Provisions) Bill were adopted by the ENR Committee of parliament. Challenges as regards the bill, which was passed by parliament in December 2021, remained however.
Finally, we supported the establishment and coordinated the Inclusive Green Economy Network-East Africa (IGEN-EA) to promote green economic alternatives in Uganda and the region. IGEN-EA undertook stakeholder sensitisation and policy influencing work to promote green economic activities in 2021AFIEGO’s December 2021 newsletter