Breakthrough for integrated planning in Uganda
Over the last four years, NIRAS Indevelop, with financial support from Sida, has provided training on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Uganda. SEA is a method to ensure that environmental and social concerns are not left behind when major policies, programs and plans are pursued.
In Uganda, like in many other developing countries, development is often seen as a first priority - separate from environmental issues which are to be addressed at a later stage. However, the training program suggests a different approach; that development can be addressed together with environmental care and concern for social issues. In fact, by addressing these concerns simultaneously they can become mutually reinforcing. While most would agree in theory, it is not always easy to go from principle to practice. Yet, Uganda has taken a concrete step towards enlightening its cadre of planners:
In February a major event took place in Kampala: “The First National Conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment”. It was attended by 200 professional planners, entirely arranged by former training programme participants, and fully funded from sources within Uganda. It was a great success and occurred at the right time; SEA is known today in Uganda and senior decision makers want to pursue integrated, sustainable development, and with that setting it was a breakthrough for sustainable development in Uganda!