What We Do
Land and Environmental Rights Watch Africa is mandated to intervene in the above-cited contextual challenges, through the following programmatic objectives:
- Capacity building citizens of Uganda to enhance the capacity of communities in land and environmental preservation, protection and promotion through participatory approaches.
- Advocacy aimed at upholding land and environmental rights within the country.
- Monitoring and Evaluation with an aim of policy monitoring and public accountability
Research aimed at investigating concerns, success stories, etc to monitor, highlight and recommend areas of improvement on the land and environment with a focus on indigenous knowledge production.
The organisation strategy is to focus on constructive programs, which are nonviolent actions taken within communities to build up systems, processes or resources in addition to obstructive programs or civil resistance to build up the communities bottom upward as it seeks to achieve its strategic objectives. The aim is to expose the land and environmental rights violations rampant within the country while also creating new alternatives to mitigate the challenges of land and environment rights violations and degradation.
Land and Environmental Rights Watch Africa capacitates communities to enhance the capacity of communities in land and environmental preservation, protection and promotion through participatory approaches. Awareness creation sessions, trainings on forestry, fruit and vegetable growing, civic and environmental education, mentoring and coaching programs, exchange visits between communities, experiential learning excursions, Curriculum development, etc are some of the activities carried out under this strategic objective.
Land and Environmental Rights Watch Africa also focuses on advocacy aimed at upholding land and environmental rights within the country and building resilient and self-sustaining communities through mobilizing and organizing grassroots communities on land and environmental protection, promote greater protection for environmental Human Rights Defenders (individuals and groups) defending their environmental rights, create systems of decision making like citizen’s assemblies where ordinary people learn from each other and take collective decisions about issues affecting them, etc. Some of the activities undertaken include direct action of planting indigenous tree species, fruit and vegetables growing to improve the livelihood of the people, support and provide resources to communities for the purpose of resisting rights violations, holding participatory action advocacy, holding constructive dialogues and debates with relevant stake holders and providing rapid response to HRDs at risk.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and Evaluation aimed at policy monitoring and public accountability. To date, the Ugandan government has developed a number of policy regimes to regulate and influence land use and environmental impacts, for example, the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP, 2000), the Sector Wide Approach to Planning for Water and Sanitation Sector (2002), the National Wetlands Policies (1995), the Environmental Impact Assessment Resolutions (1998), the National Environment Management Policy (MLWE 1994), the National Environment Statute (MLWE 1995), the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (GoU 1995), and the National Land Policy and National Land Use Policy, among others. However, as reflected by the alarming rate at which natural resources are being depleted, it is evident that these laws and policies are not enforced effectively. Numerous research conducted show that there is a glaring gap between the existence of laws and policies on the one hand, and the reality of implementation on the ground on the other. Weaknesses in implementing existing laws and policies were detected, reflecting political interference and corruption. Among other factors, weaknesses in law enforcement, corruption, political interference, and the impunity of those who acted against environmental and other laws were identified as most severe throughout the country. On a number of instances, people with good political connections have encroached on wetlands and water catchment systems with no reprimand from law enforcers.
Research aimed at investigating concerns, success stories, etc to monitor, highlight and identify solutions to mitigate abuse of environmental rights affecting communities with a focus on indigenous knowledge production is another strategic objective of Land and Environmental Rights Watch Africa. Mapping out thematic areas for investigation, Conduct thematic investigations, Compile and share a report with relevant stake holders.etc are some of the activities under this strategic objective.