Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) is an independent public policy research and advocacy think tank based in Uganda, but working in the East and Southern African sub-region on a wide range of public policy issues. Our core business is to undertake advocacy intended policy research and analysis on contemporary and emerging governance issues that significantly impact national, regional, and global development. Over the past 5 consecutive years, ACODE has been ranked in the Global Go To Think Tank Index as one of the best think tanks in Uganda and one of the top advocacy think tanks in the world.
Over the last three years, ACODE has undertaken to support work under the transition to a green economy. ACODE has also articulated citizens positions in national processes established around green growth priorities i.e. sustainable transport, green cities, sustainable energy and mineral development, natural resource management and sustainable agriculture. It has brought local-level insights on river restoration into national policy processes. At sub-national district-level, ACODE has focused on reducing river system degradation through its work on the River Rwizi Catchment that traverses 11 districts. River Rwizi has featured in the news as a river on the brink of extinction due to the encroachment on river catchment areas through human activity. The degradation of River Rwizi is not unique but a common challenge to all river systems around the country. With a focus on river restoration, ACODE has established engagement platforms that brought the concerns of citizens into the policymaking domain.
Several capacity restoring interventions have been undertaken by government, the local government, private sector and civil society. Due to the degradation of River Rwizi, ACODE in partnership with Mbarara District Local government and the Ministry of Water and Environment have engaged local councils to create awareness about green approaches at community level relating to sustainable utilization of resources within the catchment.
The private sector is playing a key role in restoring the use and transformation of River Rwizi as a natural capital. Natural capital is a way of looking at nature as a stock that provides benefits to people and the economy. A public private partnership between Ministry of Water, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Coca Cola was formed with the major objective of supporting ongoing efforts to increase water availability within River Rwizi and sustainable water use and resources management within the catchment. The Management of Nile Breweries through ABinBev in collaboration with WWF has earmarked USD 1.2million to undertake restoration programmes along River Rwizi.
In an effort to reverse the unsustainable human practices of the utilization of natural capital a collective engagement of stakeholders is paramount in restoring river’s natural functions to ensure sustainable management of waste is necessary to prevent further pollution of the river. The restoration of River Rwizi calls for not only economic and ecological changes but renewed approach on restoration of natural capital thinking. Uganda’s natural capital like River Rwizi should be restored and protected not only for today but for the future generations.