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Updated to: 26 September 2013

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Distinguishing features of the EIA/SEA system

EIA in Uganda was legislated in 1995, and has built up to a practice with a volume of about 600 EIA per year. It is mostly centrally administrated, by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA). NEMA makes the screening decisions, and does so on a case-by-case basis. There is a list of projects subject to EIA, but there are no thresholds indicated. Furthermore, NEMA may screen projects not on this list as well. There is a certification system for EIA consultants. SEA is implied in the same legislation in which EIA is grounded, but there are no clear provisions, and the limited SEA practice that does take place is essentially voluntary.

Administrative system: relevant features

Uganda is divided into 111 districts, spread across four administrative regions: Northern, Eastern, Central and Western Uganda. Most districts are named after their main commercial and administrative towns. Each district is divided into sub-districts, counties, sub-counties, parishes and villages. Parallel with the state administration, five traditional Bantu kingdoms have remained, enjoying some degrees of mainly cultural autonomy. The kingdoms are Toro, Ankole, Busoga, Bunyoro and Buganda.

Relevant international conventions

Uganda ratified the convention and protocol on biodiversity in 1993 and 2003 respectively. Uganda has been party to the Ramsar convention on biodiversity since 1988 and has 11 Ramsar sites.

Environmental Standards: relevant features

NEMA has issued regulations that define different types of enviornmental standards such as:

  • Standards for the management of soil quality
  • Standards for discharge of effluents into water or land
  • Noise standards

These regulations can be found on the website of NEMA.


Country specific terms or acronyms

  • NEMA = National Environmental Management Authority
  • UAIA = Uganda Association of Impact Assessment
  • NEA = National Environmental Act