Creating future scenarios to inform Tanzania’s new environment policy

Soybean plant showing a remarkable difference in growth and vigour between those that are are innoculated and not innoculated

Soybean plant showing a remarkable difference in growth and vigour between those that are are innoculated and not innoculated

Morogoro, Tanzania, 17 February. Policy -makers, researchers, and development practitioners are developing scenarios for the future in socio-economics, food security, and climate to help to review the new Environmental Policy of Tanzania to ensure it is resilient to climate change. The scenarios created will help to identify and address any gaps in the new policy.

This is at a workshop organized by the Policy Action and Climate Change Action (PACCA) project in collaboration with the Division of Environment at the Vice President’s office, 16 – 17 February, at Morogoro, Tanzania.

The project which was launched last year is supporting Uganda and Tanzania in the development of policies that are climate resilient; it is funded by the CGIAR’s Climate Change and Food Security (CCAFS) program and led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Speaking at the official opening of the workshop, Dr Julius Ningu, the Director of the Division of Environment at the Vice President’s Office, noted that the workshop came at an opportune moment as the country was revising its Environment Policy.

He noted the country’s current National Environment Policy had been set up in 1997 and was therefore not responsive to some of the emerging environmental issues. These included climate change, biofuels, and genetically modified organisms as well as invasive alien species and electronic and electronic equipment wastes (e-Wastes). Therefore the Government through the Vice President’s Office had initiated a comprehensive review of the policy.

“The process has been on-going and the consultant, the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ERSF), has submitted the first draft. The Technical Review Panel and the Multi-sectoral Task Force have reviewed this and submitted their comments,” he said. “The participatory scenarios developed will be used to inform this ongoing review process.”

Dr Edidah Ampaire, from IITA Uganda and the PACCA Project Coordinator noted that the scenarios were important tools to help in analyzing the new Environmental Policy. “What we want to see is an inclusive and better informed policy that is climate resilient and provides for the well-guided investment of resources,” she said.

The participants are looking at and creating future scenarios for areas that include environment and ecosystem, agriculture and land use, industry and services, socio-economic issues and health, science, innovation and resilience.

“Scenario setting is important when we are dealing with such complex and uncertain issues as climate change. All different scenarios that can occur in the future will be thought of and used to ‘crash’ test the policy to get more ideas to improve on it,” said Dr Joost Vervoot, a facilitator of the workshop from the Environmental Change Institute of Oxford University.

Participants at the workshop were drawn from the Vice President’s Office, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministries of Agriculture, of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Natural Resources and Tourism, Water, Health and Community Welfare, Transport, and Education and Vocational Training. Also present were representatives from the National Environmental Council (NEMC), the Universities of Sokoine and Ardhi, and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The workshop will make recommendations to be included into the new Environmental Policy under review which it is anticipated will to be finalized in June this year.

A similar meeting will be held in Uganda, 19 – 20 February.

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