Uganda has taken significant progress in legal reforms to increase the public’s access to information with the first law passed in 1998 and a more recent one in 2005. Uganda has also achieved milestones in the application of its environmental impact assessment procedures, though there is still improvements that can be made to ensure effective public participation in the process. Civil society organizations have played a critical role in Uganda to ensure that some of these important laws have come into place. Specifically, Greenwatch Uganda has worked closely with the TAI Uganda coalition and the Government of Uganda to champion citizen rights in environmental matters.
TAI Uganda’s work has focused on three main areas: working on the enactment and implementation of the Freedom of Information Act that came into force in 2006, judicial training for the judiciary on environmental law enforcement and compliance and access rights, and working with select communities to raise their awareness on environmental substantive and procedural rights.
Thus far, TAI Uganda has conducted two independent assessments, with the first in 2001/2002 and the second in 2004/2005. The assessment findings have enabled the coalition to accelerate implementation of access rights by sharing the findings and lobbying governments to secure commitments to fill the rights gaps.
TAI Uganda’s lead organization, Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), is an independent public policy research and advocacy think tank and a regional leader in a range of areas. It is committed to influence development and governance policies for the promotion of social justice in Eastern Africa.