Project Factsheet
Tools for » Environment and Climate Change
Project ID:00079845Description:Environment and Climate Change
Tanzania One UN Fund
Start Date *: 14 Sep 2011
C1: Econ Growth & Poverty Red
End Date*: 31 Dec 2016
Country: Tanzania Project Status: Operationally Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple

Environment and Climate Change

Tanzania’s fast growing population of 43 million (including 1.3 million in Zanzibar) is highly dependent on the environment and natural resources for livelihoods and quality of life. Unsustainable harvesting of natural resources, water source encroachment and unchecked cultivation coupled with global climate change pose challenges for achieving and sustaining the MDGs for environment.

Demand for fresh water, food, natural products, land for cropping and grazing, shelter, wood and charcoal for household energy, deforestation and environmental degradation stretches resources utilization and management. Illegal fishing threatens the sustainability of marine stocks. Access to land resources and demands for various needs including biodiversity conservation and natural resources management gives rise to conflicts. Climate change effects are increasingly evident: flooding, droughts and environmental degradation are more severe; high temperatures are disturbing cropping patterns whilst rising sea levels are having detrimental consequences in coastal cities and communities. The contribution of the environment and natural resources to the Gross Domestic Product in Tanzania has persistently been underestimated because of unrecorded consumption, and its high revenue potential (from royalty collections, export and tourism earnings, recycling and fixing of carbon dioxide and conservation of globally important biodiversity) unrealized. Various forest related activities provide significant employment opportunities, though their real contribution due to unrecorded labour in the collection of wood-fuels and other forest related products consumed by households is often undervalued.

Despite the important and varied roles played by environment and natural resources, there are challenges in ensuring sound management including deforestation, inadequate forestry extension services, inefficient wood-based industries and poor infrastructural facilities. Other issues are outdated legislation, fragmented administration at all levels between the center and the local levels, lack of participation of various stakeholders in the management of the resources and poor resource databases, outdated and non-existence of management plans for efficient resource use.

Capacities for managing natural resources including mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and mitigation are inadequate for the scale of the challenge, particularly in maximizing pro poor and gender aspects. MDA’s lack effective capacities to manage natural resources, enforce anti conflict policies, and apply environmental regulations and related Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). Technical and financial capacities to address these complex challenges are especially limited.

The Environmental Management Act (EMA), 2004 provides the legal and institutional framework for sustainable management of environment in Tanzania; it outlines principles for management, impact and risk assessments, prevention and control of pollution, waste management, environmental quality standards, public participation, compliance and enforcement. It also provides the basis for implementation of instruments on environment including the National Environment Policy. National capacities to support the Act’s implementation including provisions for enforcement are yet to be developed. There is need for further support on implementation of the EMA through capacity building focusing at both national and local levels.

Energy is central to all aspects of human welfare, including access to water, agricultural productivity, health care, education, job creation and environmental sustainability. Evidently, access to energy is crucial to growth and poverty reduction although rural access remains low. The Government of Tanzania has recognized this and initiated programs that support communities at local levels to engage partners in efforts to accelerate access to energy services. These efforts need to be scaled-up as a prerequisite to the achievement of all the MDGs.

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Tanzania or the lead agency for the programme.

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