Environmental Systems and Local Actors: Decentralizing Environmental Policy in Uganda

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In Uganda, environmental and natural resource management is decentralized and has been the responsibility of local districts since 1996. This environmental management arrangement was part of a broader decentralization process and was intended to increase local ownership and improve environmental policy; however, its implementation has encountered several major challenges over the last decade. This article reviews some of the key structural problems facing decentralized environmental policy in this central African country and examines these issues within the wider framework of political decentralization. Tensions have arisen between technical staff and politicians, between various levels of governance, and between environmental and other policy domains. This review offers a critical reflection on the perspectives and limitations of decentralized environmental governance in Uganda. Our conclusions focus on the need to balance administrative staff and local politicians, the mainstreaming of local environmental policy, and the role of international donors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-295
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • sub-saharan africa
  • service delivery
  • politics
  • reform
  • management
  • governance
  • community

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