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AAIU holds First Climate Justice Symposium

AAIU Country Director, Xavier Ejoyi, gives the opening remarks at the Climate Justice Symposium

Call for Action in Fight Against Climate Change

ActionAid International Uganda held a  Climate Justice Symposium from 16-17 May at Makerere School of Public Health. The symposium kicked off in a buoyant mood after a solidarity march. 

Running for two days under the theme, from Words to Action, put your money where your mouth is, the symposium was eye-opening for many. It brought together participants from CSOs, government, frontline communities, students, academia, and the media.

During the symposium, AAIU's country director, Xavier Ejoyi, highlighted the alarming state of climate change in Uganda, marked by rising water levels of Lake Victoria, landslides in Bududa, flooding in Katakwi, bursting riverbanks in Kasese, drought and heat waves across the country.

He further pointed out the leading causes of climate change and advanced solutions, including investing in renewable energy and agroecology, as illustrated in ActionAid's Fund Our Future report.

"In this country, a lot of money goes to support private investors in industrial agriculture and fossil fuel production; how about turning that money and putting it into renewal energy that regenerates our ecosystem or agroecology that uses indigenous knowledge and resources, stressed Xavier Ejoyi.

Professor Julius Kizza, the keynote speaker of the day, presented on climate justice. He called for a focus on addressing the root causes of climate change rather than symptoms.

One of the highlights of the two-day event was the launch of the Loss and Damage Report, which PELUM Uganda produced with support from ActionAid International Uganda under the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA II). The report assesses Uganda's readiness and institutional arrangements to access induced loss and damage finance. 

Other notable speakers at the symposium included Susan Otieno, the Country Director of ActionAid in Kenya; Joy Mabega, the Country Director of Zimbabwe; Sir George of MAAF; Hon. Jacque Amongi; and AAIU's board chair.

Speaking on behalf of ActionAid's General Secretary, Authur Larok, Susan Otieno called for the need to break barriers and take the lead as African countries in the quest for climate justice. She said,

"We need to remove barriers that infringe on the climate discourse. If we are not invited to their spaces, we need to create an Africa-led space."

The symposium was the first of its kind and came when Uganda is faced with a climate change crisis marked by floods, heatwaves, drought, and loss of lives and livelihoods. It will be an annual event preceded by various climate justice actions.

AAIU Board Chair gives his remarks
AAIU board chair gives his remarks at the symposium
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Susan Otieno the ActionAid Kenya Country Director speaks at the Symposium
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