Regional Parliamentarians have vowed to support the policy, legal and institutional frameworks that enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation measures and to also lobby for transparency in cross-border resource management.
They made the recommendation on Wednesday at the closure of the regional Parliamentary Forum on Environmental Security in Eastern Africa, in Kampala, Uganda.
The two-day conference which was held under the flagship of AMANI Forum, a regional parliamentary body, reflected on environmental security and the role of lawmakers in the protection and promotion of environmental security, at both national and regional levels.
During the conference the forum acknowledged that parliamentarians have not been actively engaged in issues of environmental security.
Norbert Mao, LC V Chairman of Uganda’s Gulu district, praised the Rwandan government for taking the lead in the region to ban the use of polythene bags.
“Regional countries should emulate Rwanda on the protection of the environment,” Norbert Mao told The New Times in an interview.
Meanwhile, Patricia Hajabakiga, Rwanda’s representative at the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) said: “Regional environmental advocacy initiatives need to be undertaken against the misuse, waste, destruction and exhaustion of environmental resources.”
“Governments should speak with one voice during global environmental meetings and conferences like the up coming Copenhagen summit on climate change,” said Hajabakiga, who was State Minister for environment prior to her appointment to the regional assembly.
During the conference, the MPs agreed to initiate inter-parliamentary dialogue between and among countries with shared trans-boundary resources.