Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Entebbe, Uganda

Due to the positive responses that have been received from the existing UNA Rivers cities, as well as the interest shown at regional and international events where the project has been showcased, it has been the project team’s intention to seek out ways to roll out the UNA Rivers methodology to further cities and countries in Africa. Additional funding received in 2017 allowed ICLEI Africa to begin this process by engaging with additional cities: Entebbe and Kampala (Uganda).

UNA Programme cities 2019


  • Entebbe is located on a peninsula in Lake Victoria
  • In 2002 Entebbe Municipality had a population size of 55,086 people.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. 2017 Achievements

City visits to Entebbe took place in 2017. The UNA Rivers methodology was used during these visits to discuss the city challenges and opportunities as well as the city-specific developments that relate to nature-based solutions and rivers. A plan for more focused and deep scaled engagement was co-developed with city stakeholders.

The UNA Rivers project hosted its first City to City Learning Exchange, in partnership with the Entebbe Municipality in June 2018. The meeting provided a platform for the project cities, partners and affiliated organisations to come together and share relevant lessons learnt to date from the UNA Rivers project including inter alia:

  • Discussing the UNA Rivers Methodology which focuses on providing solutions and guidelines for better environmental planning in an African context;
  • Presentations, training and dissemination of the Sustainable River-Based Urban Planning Guidelines and associated river based case study document; and
  • Capacity building on urban design/landscape design skills at different scales as well as best practice precedents (for urban parks) from around the world (including components such as design, management, implementation, maintenance) as well as on proactive planning strategies i.e. scenario planning and urban tinkering (challenging the way African cities plan with nature).

A core focus of the meeting was to provide a platform for participating project cities to share their work on urban rivers and nature-based systems and to provide an opportunity to strengthen engagement and discussions with representatives from national government and the Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities and Counties Cooperation (LVRLACC).

A key output of the meeting was a co-produced programme of action on how each city can take the learnings forward as well as discuss and approve a set of river principles that can be adopted for African Cities.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. 2019 Achievements

ICLEI Africa in partnership with the Municipality of Entebbe hosted an Urban Tinkering Walking Workshop in August 2019. The learning platform focussed on co-production of local participatory scenarios that represented a combination of the Urban Tinkering approach with the walking workshop methodology framed with a focus on integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban development.

The main objectives of the walking workshop were:

a) Sharing of lessons learnt to date from the UNA Programme;
b) Amplifying creativity and inspiration between participants and promote the creation of innovative nature-based solutions;
c) Identification of innovative solutions for which urban tinkering solutions could be applied;

Multilevel governance through coordinated action across all levels of government is critical to tackling sustainable development at both local and national levels, contributing to the achievement of local and national policies and plans and international agreements such as the Aichi Targets.
Through participatory engagements and dialogues (2018) with representatives of local government in the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Entebbe Municipality and key national government departments, one of the core project activities implemented in 2019 was to support multilevel governance for nature in cities, with a particular focus on urban natural assets. Following the identification of the need to foster dialogues between national and local government, a series of meetings were held in 2019 (and to continue into 2020) to identify critical entry points that support mainstreaming of planning for urban natural assets into urban planning processes and policies across different levels of governance. A work plan to identify critical entry points, opportunities and challenges to be addressed through the multilevel dialogues was co-developed with local government representatives, the National Department of Wetlands and the National Environment Management Agency (NEMA).

Such dialogues intended to provide a platform for all levels of government and key stakeholders to openly discuss progress, identify challenges and opportunities to more effectively mainstream planning for nature into urban development processes. They also intended to strengthen commitment, engagement and inter sectoral collaboration and coordination to support implementation. The dialogues provided an opportunity for stakeholders to share their successes and profile active projects creating a space for subnational and national government actors to interact and better align their projects to accelerate action and movements across all levels of government and where possible to seek opportunities to mobilise technical, financial and policy resources to deliver on and strengthen urban nature related projects and activities moving forward.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. 2020 Achievements

Capacity building and training, including training of how to develop investment cases as well as Local Biodiversity Strategy Action Plans.

Continued mainstreaming of natural assets into planning processes, using innovative virtual methods and entry points identified by each city (building on the dialogues, activities and processes initiated previously) whilst supporting wrap-up of project activities.

Implementation was initatied and concluded. Implementation activities included design and implementing NBS to overcome emergent challenges (aligned with health concerns).

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