The College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) will benefit from a USAID Project titled, ‘Capacity Building in Environmental Management for the Oil Sector (EMOS)’ commencing in October 2013. The U.S. Agency for International Development office in Uganda awarded a $6.6 million contract to Tetra Tech ARD and Texas A&M University to support Ugandan institutions, in controlling the environmental impacts from oil and gas development in the country. Specifically, the contractors will work to “strengthen capacity of current and future Ugandan professionals in the public and private sector to manage and respond to the environmental impacts of the oil and gas sector,” work to improve governmental oversight of the sector’s activities in the Albertine Rift and encouraging the Ugandan civil society to participate in the “decision-making” of the energy sector.
The purpose of the contract is to build the capacity to be better prepared to manage and mitigate impacts arising out of oil and gas development on the environment and biodiversity of the Albertine Rift. The project will also involve major stakeholders in environment and oil sectors like National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD) in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and Civil Society Institutions.
CoNAS working with Texas A&M University will review all curriculums at undergraduate and graduate levels to assess how the taught programmes integrate environmental mitigation in oil sector. This will allow for opportunity to improve them, or suggest new programmes especially at postgraduate. short term trainings to public including organisations, Training of Trainers will be held for capacity building. Exchange visits between staff from CoNAS and Texas A&M for skills development, equipping of laboratories will also be implemented to ensure effective teaching in Oil and Gas.