Minister Kitutu said that while the National Climate Change Policy, 2015 provides direction for keys sectors to implement climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, it lacks an enforcement mechanism. Enforcement remains the biggest challenge to the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation, according to the state minister of environment, Dr Mary Goretti Kitutu. She said it is the reason why many natural features, including lakes, wetlands and forests continue to be destroyed. Statistics show that the country loses about 100,000 hectares of forest cover every year, a situation that is worsening the effects of climate change. “While there has been a lot of talk about the need to conserve our wetlands, a number of them have been degraded for commercial purposes,” Kitutu said. She stressed that while the National Climate Change Policy, 2015 provides direction for keys sectors to implement climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, it lacks an enforcement mechanism. The minister made the remarks during a ministerial meeting to discuss the draft climate change Bill development process at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Tuesday organised by Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change-Uganda (PFCC-U). The meeting was attended by a number of ministries that included tourism, local government, works, co-operatives, Kampala, land and agriculture. Kitutu highlighted some of the impacts of climate change on some of the sector that included water, health, agriculture, forestry, energy, transport and wetlands. “Floods leading to disease outbreaks, droughts leading to water shortage for agriculture, forestry and power production and also destruction of vital transport infrastructure are some of the potential impacts,” she explained. The Climate Change Bill, 2018 seeks to provide a framework for enforcing climate change adaptation actions through which Uganda will make adjustments in natural or human systems in response to actual impacts of climate change to reduce harm or exploit potential opportunities. The Bill also seeks to enable Uganda pursue its voluntary mitigation targets of reducing national greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, MPs asked the Government to enact a law to regulate activities on natural resources to avert the effects of climate change in the country. The law, according to MPs, seeks to protect the ecosystems threatened by population pressures and erosion that affect all those who depend on natural space. In 2015, Cabinet directed the Ministry of Water and Environment to initiate the legal framework on climate change. The chairperson of PFCC-U, Lawrence Biyika, said the legal framework will help the country to mainstream climate change in the country’s development processes. “We note that the Climate Change Bill has taken too long to be tabled in Parliament, yet the country is continuing to experience devastating effects of climate change,” Biyika said. State minister for works, Gen. Katumba Wamala welcomed the Bill, saying it will strengthen the climate change departments to manage all activities related to climate change. “This law should provide a regulatory framework for monitoring, reporting and verification of the implementation and impacts,” he said. Katumba warned that the war in Somalia came as a result of climate change in early 1990s. “The fighting started as a result of the drought that hit the country, as people struggled for survival,” Katumba said. He advised that countries which share River Nile should provide a fund to Uganda to protect the environment. State minister for tourism Godfrey Kiwanda appealed to the citizens to help the Government in sensitising the public and apprehending people destroying or privatising wetlands. “We should take action against the investor who is setting up at taxi park at Lubigi wetland before we lose the swamp,” Kiwanda said. State minister for local government Jenifer Namuyangu advised fellow ministers to enact laws which can be implemented. “The law that banned the use of Kavera is in place, but people continue to buy, sell and litter Buvera,” Namuyangu said. She called for punitive penalties for professionals who are paid to protect the environment but end up destroying it. “We need a strong enforcement mechanism to this law, otherwise it will go like other laws,” Namuyangu stressed.