On 15th January 2020, Atacama Consulting successfully organised its first-ever Clients’ Breakfast Meeting at Mestil Hotel in Kampala under the theme “Enhancing Business Preparedness for the new National Environment Act (NEA), 2019: Leveraging Opportunities and mitigating Challenges.”
The event that is set to be undertaken on an annual basis going forward attracted a number of stakeholders such as; government ministries and agencies (National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Ministry of Works and transport, Uganda National Oil Company, Uganda Free Zones Authority, Uganda Tourism Board, National Housing and Construction Company), International Oil Companies (Armour Energy and Total Exploration and Production Uganda), development partners (International Finance Corporation, Oxfam, USAID, GIZ, AFD), journalists, Engineers, lawyers, bankers, insurers, environmental practitioners, and academia among others.
During the event, a keynote presentation about Uganda’s new environment Act was made by Professor Emmanuel Kasimbazi, the Chair of the Makerere University Environmental Law Centre highlighting major changes in the new National Environment Act, 2019, which, among others included prohibition of the use of plastics under 30 microns, extended producer responsibility and product stewardship, trans-boundary collaboration to manage hazardous chemical spills, and management of the oil and gas activities.
The keynote presentation was followed by a panel session to further discuss provisions of the NEA, 2019, relating them to industrial expectations. The panellists comprised of professionals with vast knowledge in the environmental and social spheres — the panellists were Christine Akello (Deputy Executive Director of NEMA), Professor Emmanuel Kasimbazi (Chairperson of the Makerere University Environmental Law Centre), Juliana Keirungi (Senior Partner at Atacama Consulting), Stella Katumba (Senior Manager, Human Capital Consulting at Deloitte), and Engineer Moses Kitaka (Managing Director of Epsilon Uganda Limited).
Key communication during the panel session was NEMA’s commitment to implementing the new Act, with the Deputy Executive Director calling upon all project developers to be law-abiding rather than lookout for shortcuts. In concluding the panel discussion, there was a collective acknowledgement that the NEA, 2019 is a good law whose effectiveness will depend on how well it is implemented.
Atacama Consulting would like to thank all its stakeholders especially the clients and regulators that contributed towards the success of the Clients’ Breakfast Meeting.