Environment and Natural Resource Governance

The Environment and Natural Resource Governance Program stems from the recognition that many countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as the broader African continent, heavily depend on natural resources and the environment. In the past decade, there has been a notable surge in efforts by multinational companies and African governments to exploit natural resources, especially petroleum and minerals, to meet global energy demands and fulfill national development needs. Beyond minerals and petroleum, Africa boasts diverse vegetation, water resources, fertile soils, and clean air—assets that are highly attractive on a global scale.

However, the relentless exploration of these resources in Africa poses significant challenges. Massive land acquisitions, especially in the last decade, have left communities, particularly women and youth, vulnerable to poverty. Poor governance of natural resources, largely captured by ruling elites, exacerbates political instability, violence, and chronic underdevelopment across the continent.

Program Objectives:

The strategic objective of the Natural Resource Governance program is to enhance governance for the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources. This will be achieved through:

  • Reviewing existing laws and policies governing environment and natural resources
  • Monitoring the implementation of these laws and policies on both public and private land.
  • Building the capacity of local governments for sustainable management.
  • Active participation in national, regional, and international environment and natural resource policy processes.
  • Advocacy to inform and influence decision-making processes.
  • Investment in networking, collaboration, and partnerships for improved governance.
  • Building the capacity of citizens and the private sector to actively participate in decision-making processes.
  • Enhancing the capacity of like-minded Civil Society Organizations for effective participation.
  • Strengthening networking, learning, collaboration, and partnerships among CSOs, the private sector, citizens, and government.


The program acknowledges that the legal and policy frameworks are in place for the governance and management of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) in Uganda. However, shortcomings exist due to resource shortages, lack of capacity, and outdated provisions. To address these challenges, the program seeks to catalyze the review and development of effective laws and policies for ENR management. Our research covers extractives; energy and the green economy; ecosystems governance; climate change; land acquisition and resettlement frameworks; and forest governance.

Additionally, the program recognizes the urgent need to raise awareness and advocate for the protection of natural resources. The increasing population in Uganda poses challenges to the environment and natural resources, demanding targeted sensitization and advocacy efforts. By empowering citizens, building partnerships, and advocating for sustainable practices, the program aims to counteract environmental degradation, social strife, political instability, and insecurity.

Read our Strategy