Uganda has come a long way in her effort to sustainably manage and use her
genetic/biological resources. This process began with Government signing and ratifying the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 12 June 1992 and 8th September 1993.
Government is involved in the implementation of the various articles of CBD and has gone
ahead to domesticate CBD into its national laws (including the Constitution of the Republic of
Uganda) and policies. The journey has been long and arduous one but the effort has been
Legislative framework has been put in place to control the use of Uganda’s rich
genetic/biological resources. The regulations governing access to our genetic resources and
the sharing of benefits have been enacted. Following this, we have now produced these
guidelines to help all people dealing with our genetic resources to know how to manage the
procedures for access, not forgetting how to ensure that the benefits accruing from granting a
person access to genetic resources are well negotiated and shared with the owners of the
resource. The development of these Guidelines is therefore a big milestone in help the
country to use our genetic resources for national socio-economic development, poverty
eradication and prosperity for all.
Implementing these guidelines needs combined effort and collective responsibility by all
stakeholders to cater for the varying interests. I feel that the commitment and the will to move
this process forward this exists. Although we expect to obtain benefits from people who
would like to access our genetic resources, we need to recognise that meaningful and realistic
benefits can only be realised through collaboration to ensure that the owners of Uganda’s
resources are aware of the potential value of the genetic resource so that benefits realised
through sustainable and controlled management of the resource. Thus awareness raising and
training on the subject of access and benefit sharing arising from the use of our genetic
resources thus an integral component during implementation of these guidelines. I call upon
all stakeholders to work with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and
competent authority-Uganda National Council for Science and Technology-in creating
awareness and carrying training to facilitate implementation of these Guidelines.
NEMA is indebted to all the stakeholders who participated and provided input during the
development of these Guidelines which included government ministries, departments, local
government, research institutions, academia, NGOs, CSOs, the private sector and the
Technical Committee on Biodiversity Conservation. Your support helped us to come up with
these Guidelines that has taken into consideration the concerns of the various interest groups.
I take this opportunity to urge all stakeholders to actively participate in the implementation of
these Guidelines, especially in helping the local communities at the grass roots to improve
their livelihoods through sustainable use of our genetic/biological resources. Implementation
of this first edition of the Guidelines will no doubt provide learning experience as well as
identify any gaps that we may not have foreseen during the development these Guidelines.
NEMA will in consultation with the stakeholders review and update the Guidelines to make it
relevant to the prevailing conditions.

Aryamanya-Mugisha, Henry
Guidelines for Access to Genetic Resources and Benefits Sharing 


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