Why Gulu? International Conference is schedule to take place in the heart of Gulu Northern Uganda region which is still affected by legacies of the twenty-year civil unrest. Northern Uganda is today witnessing a wave of environmental degradation and land conflict, but also a flourishing of civil society and community efforts to address this devastation and ensure a future od just development for the people of the region.
GULU-UGANDA: On April, 2019 Cambridge Center of Africa Studies, Makerere University School of Social Sciences, Gulu University, Human Rights Focus (Gulu) and the Center for African Research (Gulu) will hold a major international conference on rethinking; Sustainable Development from Northern Uganda, at Bomah Hotel hosted jointly.
Author Owor the Director for African Research, Gulu says the funding for this conference has been generously provided by the Philomathia Foundation as part of the Philomathia Africa Progammme at the University of Cambridge, led by Dr. Adam Branch, Director of the Cambridge Center of African Research Studies.
He argued why sustainable development? Sustainability has become a dominant concern in international development today. The sustainable development Goals in particular are now central to government planning and to the work of international organizations, donors, NGOs, and academic researchers, he said.
Owor adds that however, with seventeen goals spinning all domains of the social and natural worlds, its not donors, government, NGOs, or the community? Who is benefitting from sustainable development? And what is the relation between sustainability and environmental justice in an age of global climate change? He said.
Thus, we will ask what visions of sustainable development are being put into practices in Uganda and around Africa today. “We will also explore alternative vision of development and environmental justice being generated from Africa, whether by research organizations social movements, or rural and urban communities. The conference will seek solution not only to northern Uganda’s development challenges, but also to the global challenges of finding a just future in the midst of planetary crisis, Owor urged.
The organizer say who will be at the conference, this international conference will bring together over 40 scholars and researchers, primarily from Uganda, and also from Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, South Sudan, North America, Europe, Latin America, and Austrlia. To inquire into the interaction of
He says we expect 200 people to attend from academia, research organizations, government, the private sector, civil society, international organization and community-based activites organizations.
The organizer argues that by bring these experience into conversation with similar experiences from around the continent, this conference will build on the success of the Julu 2918 Gulu conference on environmental politics-environmental justice, placing the discussions we had last year within debates over the future of development.
The research base
He says both this year’s conference and the 2018 conference are funded upon the research project carried out from 2017-2018 by Dr. Adam Branch of Cambridge Universirty, Dr. Pual Omach of Makerere University, and Human Rights Focus titled “Narratives of conflict, Climate and Development” funded by UK Arts and Humanities Research Council for which permission was granted by Uganda National Council of Science and Technology and by the President’s office.
He argues that this project comprised a year of interviews and discussions in communities throughout Acholi sub region to elicit public preparations of current environmental problems. The conferences are part of the public dissemination and discussion of those results.
Owor says day one the charcoal issues will be dedicated to charcoal in context: massive deforestation caused by unregulated charcoal production is perhaps the most pressing environmental challenge currently facing northern Uganda. “We will be bring together international experts on charcoal production, trade and consumption, sustainable energy, public policy, and community development to discuss solutions to the current environmental crisis.” He said.
Outline that the keynote will be given to renowned international expert Dr. Tuyeni Mwampamba from the Institute of Ecosystems and Sustainability and Sustainability Research National AUTONOMOUS University of Mexico, they will also discuss a draft charcoal policy, which is being developed at present by Acholi Technical Working Committee on Charcoal, to ensure that it can adequately address contemporary challenges around charcoal in the quest to attain sustainability and environmental justice
The organizer say day two will be on sustainable development and environmental justice, on April 12, 2019 they will address the broader theme of the future of sustainable development, panels will be held on topic spanning conservation, infrastructure, land tenure and commercial farming, food security and soverigmty, natural resources extraction climate change adaptation and mitigation, multiple discipline will seek out a better understanding of the reality of development and of visions for a future of environmentally just sustainable development for the region and beyond.