KAMPALA, July 26, 2010 – Uganda’s launch of a Municipal Waste Compost Program has made it the first African nation to successfully register a Program of Activities (POA) that will reduce dangerous methane emissions into the environment. This is being done under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Uganda POA is the first of its kind in the world, and promotes solid waste composting in urban areas in an environmentally friendly manner. Composting of waste has multiple benefits over landfills, the most common practice in Uganda and many other countries. Composting returns the much needed organic matter to the soil, prevents land degradation, and significantly reduces methane emissions.
“This POA, the first in Africa, is important not only because of its greenhouse gas mitigation potential, but also because it serves as an example for many other African countries to design and implement large scale mitigation activities. Although the process is complex, it has been an extremely useful learning experience, which we hope to replicate all over Uganda”, says Henry Aryamanya Mugisha, Executive Director of the National Environmental Management Authority.
The new program helps Ugandan municipalities set up waste composting facilities that are financially sustainable because of the revenues generated from the sale of both compost and carbon credits. While nine municipalities have already been identified for this purpose, other cities are expected to request that similar projects be included in this registered program.
The nine initial projects are using carbon finance to generate resources for social and community activities while also trapping the equivalent of an estimated 750,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2e) over the next 10 years. A total of 156,889 Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and 52,296 Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) will be sold to the World Bank’s Community Development Carbon Fund. The entire program is voluntary in nature, both for the National Environment Management Authority (the coordinating entity) and the implementing municipalities.
“With the threat of global warming, there is an urgent need to scale up climate change mitigation, shifting from project-based to programmatic approaches. This is the Bank’s first Program of Activities under CDM and we are very happy to see Uganda spearhead such a program and serve as an example for the rest of Africa,” says Joëlle Chassard, Manager of the Carbon Finance Unit, World Bank.
While the program represents many “firsts” in the carbon finance community, it is also an important model because it builds on south-south linkages by harnessing expertise and models of simple composting development in South Asia. The program was designed with involvement of experts from India, who will also offer monitoring and training support.