Dr Emmanuel Kasimbazi, Professor of Environmental & Policy at the School of Law and the Director of the Environmental Centre at Makerere University Kampala, Uganda, is currently visiting the Walker Institute on a British Academy Research Scholarship.
His research interest is in environmental policy and disaster law, and he will be focusing on disaster law in the East African Community (EAC) whilst at Walker. Over the summer, during his visit, he will be presenting seminars on his research in Reading, and he also hopes to travel to Malawi to attend a workshop on disaster law, policy and guidelines.
Dr Kazimbazi said: “In my area of environmental law, as a conservationist and professor, one of the areas I have focused on is climate change. One area that I have noticed the policy has not addressed is the issue of disasters, especially climate change and disasters. In Africa, we experience the extreme effects of climate change such as floods and droughts.
“When there are droughts, for example, other countries come to provide help but they do not help in preparation, what we call mitigation measures, to address the risks. So my interest was as a policy and legal expert - how can the law and policy respond to these challenges, before, during and after. This is what my interest is now."
“The EAC have developed a climate change policy but they have not comprehensively developed disaster-related policy. They have not established the institutions that would specifically address the climate change issues, this is at the regional level. But when you go to the national level, for example, my country Uganda have developed a policy but they have no law. The challenge of not having a law is that there are no legal requirements or obligations. Therefore, people do what they do based on their own moral grounding. “
During his time at Walker, Dr Kasimbazi will be focusing his research on international, regional and national disaster law policies and how they fit together. He will be specifically asking what the responses, policies, gaps, and strengths are, and what can be done to improve them. Dr Kasimbazi then hopes to be able to make recommendations to the EAC based on his research findings.
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