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Uganda’s oil and gas sector celebrates World Environment Day with a commitment to sustainability

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In commemoration of World Environment Day, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) and licensed oil companies gathered at Mpasana Town Council grounds in Kakumiro District to highlight their dedication to environmental safeguards in the oil and gas (O&G) sector.

Minister Ruth Nankabirwa of Energy and Mineral Development expressed her gratitude to sponsors for their support, highlighting the crucial role of petroleum resources in infrastructure development, particularly electricity infrastructure.

“We are committed to utilising our natural resources for the benefit of our people,” she emphasised. “The Petroleum Fund was established to allocate resources towards infrastructure development, including electricity infrastructure. Our policy prioritises extending the national grid and increasing power generation to connect communities at the parish level, promote value addition, and reduce postharvest waste.”

Minister Ruth Nankabirwa of Energy and Mineral Development addressing crowds during the commemoration of World Environment Day at Mpasana Town Council grounds in Kakumiro District on Friday, June 14, 2024. (Photo by PAU)

Minister Nankabirwa also mentioned proposals to reduce tariffs through investments in infrastructure and power generation plants. Additionally, she stressed the importance of integrating petroleum-supported electricity with mineral resources like lithium to develop batteries for electric vehicles and motorcycles. Finally, she encouraged continued care for the planted trees, promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director of PAU, emphasised that the celebrations aimed to showcase Uganda’s sustainable development of its oil and gas resources, minimising environmental impact and biodiversity loss.

 Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director of PAU,speaking during the commemoration of World Environment Day at Mpasana Town Council grounds in Kakumiro District on Friday, June 14, 2024. (Photo by PAU)

“The Oil and Gas sector is being developed with sustainability in mind, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution through projects like gas development for LPG use instead of flaring, which is banned in Uganda,” Rubondo explained.

Uganda’s oil discovery in the Albertine Graben presents both socio-economic opportunities and environmental challenges. To mitigate these impacts, Uganda has established regulatory institutions, enacted new laws, and developed a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan.

The PAU works closely with licensed oil companies and partners to ensure environmental protection, human health, and safety during O&G activities. Sound environmental technologies are adopted during the planning and design phases to minimise the footprint of petroleum operations.

Schoolchildren participated in a tree planting exercise during the commemoration of World Environment Day at Mpasana Town Council grounds in Kakumiro District on Friday, June 14, 2024. (Photo by PAU)

The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) has implemented safeguards, including an environmental policy, waste management procedures, and risk assessment frameworks, embedded in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process.

The government has established a robust framework to ensure oil and gas activities coexist with environmental and social well-being. Task-level risk assessments identify potential impacts, and controls are put in place. Sites will be decommissioned and restored to their original state at the end of projects.

A cultural dance troupe entertains a crowd at the commemoration of World Environment Day at Mpasana Town Council grounds in Kakumiro District on Friday, June 14, 2024. (Photo by PAU)

Uganda is committed to sustainable O&G development, balancing economic growth with environmental stewardship.

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