It have been noticed that there are different activities which lead to change in the environment. This paper is going to discuss about how environment degradation in both developing and developed world has been attributed by increase human activities in pursuit of economic growth. The paper will consist four main parts; the theoretical review part which include definition an explanations. The second part is the policy review part, under this part different policies in environment will be discussed. Then it will be followed by the empirical part, this part will show the real situation in Tanzania how big is the problem and what has been done to protect the environment. The conclusion part is the last and will include suggestion.
Definition of environment
Environment does not only refer to Biological or physical artifacts of a society but instead it encompasses also economic, political, social cultural factors which when put together with the physical and biological factors form the ecosystem of the nations production, exchange, and consumption processes(Shao et al 1992).
Environment has been defined as totality of surrounding conditions; he longed for the comfortable environment of his living room. It is the area in which something exists or lives; the country-the flat agricultural surround”. wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
It is also defined as the sum all external influences and conditions affecting the life and development of an organism or ecological community. Sfep.abag.ca.gov/reports/soe/soegloss.htm
The existing conditions in the surrounding that results from a combination of climate, soil, topography, and other plants and animals. An organism’s environment influences its form and survival. www.calforests.org/glossary.html
The National Environmental Action Plan (1994) and The National Environmental Policy (1997) identify land degradation, lack of access to good water, pollution, loss of wildlife habitats and biodiversity, the deterioration of aquatic systems and deforestation as factors associated with the current environmental problems. Activities such as deforestation and extensive agricultural practices reduce the vegetal capital stock, the water retention capacity of land and increase erosion. Protected areas have recently been encroached upon for farming and settlement. Overgrazing, ground fires and felling of trees for energy, construction etc, reducing the regeneration of plants and animals. It is estimated that over 60 percent of the total and area may be classified as dry lands, much of it threatened by desertification. Deforestation is estimated to expand rapidly at around 3,000,000-400,000 hectares per annum.
The environment is defined broadly under the State Environmental Quality Review Act to include the physical conditions that will be affected by a proposed action, including land, air, water, minerals, flora, fauna, and noise, resources of agricultural, archeological, historic or aesthetic. www.nymir.org/zoning/Glossary.html
Efforts to curb environmental degradation have been stepped up in recent years because of the generally fast deterioration of the environment at large. This is mostly due to the human activities, which are surpassing their bounds day and night. It must be pointed out however that, because of the fast growing exploitation of the environment, man has been forced to revisit his activities, albeit the need for natural resources is practically on a daily upsurge. And by revisiting we actually mean trying to strike a balance between man’s daily needs from nature and the degradation of the environment so as not to deny the coming generations their right to nature.
The danger lingering over our heads is that of finding an inhabitable world as a result of uncalculated exploitation of the environment. Since the days of Charles Darwin, man has seen this danger. It is because of this fact that we are today forced to wage campaigns for the preservation of nature and rational exploitation of the environment. This is actually a call to mankind to maintain ecological harmony as a precondition for life on earth.
Heads of states and government who met in Johannesburg stated that “the global environment continues to suffer from the loss of biodiversity depletion of fish stocks, advancing desertification, worsening climate change, more frequent and devastating natural disasters and increasingly vulnerable developing countries. They added that “We risk the entrenchment of these global disparities and unless we act in a manner that fundamentally changes their lives, the poor of the world may lose confidence in their representatives and the democratic systems to which we remain committed, seeing their representative as nothing more than sounding brass or tinkling cymbals (World Summit;2002).
Other provision address a comprehensive range of environmental and developmental issues, such as climate change, energy, agriculture, trade, African development, and small Island states. The implementation Plan calls for a substantial increase in use of renewable sources of energy with a sense of urgency, although it sets no specific targets; implementation of a new global system for classification and labeling of chemicals, restoration of depleted fish stocks. Further it urges that states have not yet ratify “in a timely manner” the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change.
Prominent in the implementation plan are ocean and coastal management and preservation issues. “Oceans, Seas, islands and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the earth’s ecosystem and are critical for global good security and well-being of many economies”, the document states. In particular, it encourages the application, by 2010, of an ecosystem approach to sustainable development of oceans, which also requires effective coordination and cooperation on global and regional levels.
To achieve sustainable fisheries, the implementation plan proposes to maintain or restore depleted fish stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield on an urgent basis, and where possible not later than 2015. urging development and implementation of national and regional plans of action, the document envision implementation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) international plan of action on managing fishing capacity by 2005 and the international plan of action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal and unregulated fishing by 2004(world summit;2002).
Recalling the Millennium Declaration, in which heads of State and government resolved to make every effort to ensure the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and embark on the required reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases, the Summit plan of action strongly urges States that have not already done so to ratify the Protocol “In a timely manner”.
On the subject of climate change, the document (implementation plan) proposes, among others, to promote systematic observation of the earth’s atmosphere’ support the initiative to assess the consequences of climate change on the Artic and the Antarctic; enhance cooperation to reduce air pollution; support the effective regime for the protection of the ozone layer; improve access by developing countries to affordable, accessible, cost-effective and safe alternatives to ozone-depleting substances by 2010, and address illegal traffic in such substances(world summit).
Promoting sustainable agriculture, the Implementation Plan encourages development of integrated land-and water-management plans; adoption of sustainable programs to enhance productivity and combat land degradation; exchange of good practices; adoption of well-defined and enforceable land-and water-use laws; use of market-based incentives for agricultural enterprises and farmers; and redevelopment of contaminated land, as well as conservation and sustainable use of traditional and indigenous agricultural systems.
The plan sets a target of 2010 to halt the loss of biodiversity. Stating that “biodiversity is currently being lost at unprecedented rates due to human activities”, the document urges a more efficient and coherent implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Requiring new and additional financing and technical resources to developing countries, that goal is to be achieved through national, regional and international efforts to effectively conserve and use biodiversity in a sustainable manner, support initiatives for “hot-spot” areas and introduction of ecological networks and corridors. The document also invites action to control invasive alien species; recognize the role of local and indigenous communities as holders of traditional knowledge and practices; and negotiate an international regime to promote a fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources (world summit;2002).
Environmental degradation or rather ecological disharmony has become such a serious problem that it is no longer possible to expect positive results without the participation of society as a whole. For any quantifiable results to be registered in the struggle to curb or rather reverse the situation, it should be borne in mind that no government in isolation, however rich and powerful it might be, can succeed without involving the whole of society from the grass-roots up. Governments and experts can help in systemizing the reversal process but community participation is probably the only way to see to it that friendship between man and the environment is maintained.
It is not surprising therefore that what we have now been witnessing practically all along the coastline is ecological disharmony. On the one hand this disharmony can be attributed to a drastic change in climatic conditions (quite natural and probably beyond man’s control), but on the other hand we are also witnessing serious environmental degradation due to mankind’s unreasonable exploitation of nature along the coastline. Coastal erosion, extinction of rare but ecologically very important natural vegetation and pollution of the coastline and subsequently of the sea are but a few of the after-effects of man’s unfriendly relationship with the environment. The overall result is nothing less than desertification of the coast lines.
Human activities also adversely affect coastal areas due to over-exploitation of living resources, especially fish, and coastal development, for the construction of tourist hotels without taking into consideration ecosystem services. These give short-term economic gains, which often times do not take into consideration long-term effects on the environment. In other words most of our projects along the coastline are executed without a proper cost-benefit analysis on the side of the environment in the long run.
The overall objectives of the National Environmental Policy are the following:
(a) To ensure sustainability, security and equitable use of resources for meeting the basic need of the present and future generations without degrading the environment or risking health or safety;
(b) To prevent and control degradation of land, water, vegetation, and air which constitute our life support systems;
(c) To conserve and enhance our natural and man-made heritage, including the biological diversity of the unique ecosystems of Tanzania.
(d) To improve the condition and productivity degraded areas including rural and urban settlements in order that all Tanzania may live in safe, healthful, productive and aesthetically pleasing surroundings;
(e) To raise public awareness and understanding of the essential linkages between environment and development, and to promote individual and community participation in the environmental action;
(f) To promote international cooperation on the environment agenda, and expand our participation and contribution to relevant bilateral, sub-regional, and global organizations and programs, including implementation of treaties.
National Environmental Policy 1997, particularly stressed on the need for formulating environmental legislation and sectoral legislation as an essential component for effective and comprehensive environmental management and improvement of life. Meaningful and effective environmental law must be clearly understood and treasured by the communities and individuals whom it is aimed. The legislation will set out standards and procedures, duties and limits, create obligations for all stakeholders, which will fit human activities and govern resources sustainably. The government is on process of preparing such law.
A number of sectoral-related environmental legislation have been formulated or reviewed. Examples: Forestry, Wildlife, Fisheries, Mining, Energy, Water, Lands, Local Authorities and Urban Authorities.
The government is signatory and has acceded to a number of International/ Regional environmental treaties as follows:
· Convention on Biological Diversity ratified on 8 March, 1996;
· Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region and Related Protocols ratified on 1 March, 1996;
· United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification ratified April, 1997;
· United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ratified in April, 1996;
· The Vienna Convention on the Protection of Ozone Layer and Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer acceded on 7 April, 1993 and 16 April, 1993 respectively;
· Basely Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal acceded on 7 April, 1993, and,
· Bamako Convention on Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes within Africa ratified on 7 April 1993.
Division of Environment:
The Division of Environment has the following overall functions:-
· Formulation of policy on Environment
· Co-ordination and Monitoring of Environmental issues
· Environmental Planning
· Environmental Research
Division's strategies and plans are:
· National Environmental Action Plan, 1994
· National Plan for Agenda 21, 1993
· National Action Programme to Combat Desertification, 1999
· National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, 2000
· Coastal Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, 1995
· Country Programme to phase out ozone depleting substances, 1996
· National Action Plan on Climate Change, 1997
ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN TANZANIA
There has been growing c0ncern over the environmental crisis taking place the world over but particulary so in Africa and recently in Tanzania. In the 70s desertification and its resultant impact were taken for granted in that it mainly a problem for dry zone (Nkomoki 1997; 37). Today the problem has grown beyond the dry zones and as Msambichaka (1994:7) puts it, in the case of Tanzania, it has transcended the dry zones of central Tanzania. He continued to say that 45%of the Tanzanian land suffers desertification problem while 35% under desertification threat. Talking about the crisis of environment in Tanzania, Misana and Nyaki (1993:5) have estimated that the land that is currently degraded stand at between 33 and 45% of the total land area. These areas include Shinyanga, Dodoma, Singida and Kondoa (semi arid eco zones) where the ecosystem is very fragile. The degradation of the environment has also affected other areas and these include Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mbeya, Uluguru Mountains (land slides and mud flows) and Makonde escarpment (soil erosion).
Causes of the environmental degradation
When looks at environmental crisis from the point of view in the form of deforestation, desertification and soil erosion, one discovers that it has been caused by among other factors the increasing pressure on land by expanding human and livestock population, overgrazing, over cultivation and bushfires. It is estimated that 300-400 million hectares are cleared annually for agriculture purposes and that forests and woodlands have declined from 4.4 million hectares to 3.8 million hectares from 1983 to 1987 (Shechambo and Kulindwa1994).
Various policies adopted by the government before and after independence have been the causes of the environmental destruction in Tanzania. These policies which included human settlement, export crop promotion etc. have fuelled the already growing problem of environmental destruction (Shao: 1997:24).
The indiscriminate policy of redistributing or resettling people over land particularly between 1969 and 1975/76 during the period of villagelisation resulted in massive destruction of forests just to give way to areas where people could be settled not only did this bring about desertification in some of the areas in Tanzania but also that the rural habitat and resources base upon which productivity is dependant got undermined.
Studies which have been done in Ulyankulu forest reserves in Urambo district Tabora region and Katumba and Mishamo refugee settlements in Mpanda which have been responsible for the disappearance of 750km sq. and 4620kmsqof natural forests respectively(Semakafu: 1990). Other places where thousands of km sq. Of forests were cleared to give way to refugee settlements, these included Likuyu and Namabaga and Mazimbu and Dakawa which gave way to Mozambican refugees.
Some of the cash crops in Tanzania like cotton, tobacco and tea have involved the clearance of large areas of land and vegetation to the extent that we see a contradiction between the urge and demand for foreign exchange for the country and raw materials for capital on the one hand and environmental destruction on the other.
Statistics are abound which have indicated that there has been a fast decrease of forests in lieu of the need for fuel wood. The demand for fuel wood is high in the areas of domestic use(household), crop processing(tobacco curing, tea dying), brick making, baking local beer brewing, charcoal burning and fish processing.
The commercialization of timber and the government liberalization export of timber particularly the business of logs internally and externally. This activity is done by agents from both outside and within the country. While there are those who have government licenses to harvest the forests, there has arisen a “mafia” unlicensed group of people depleting the forests.
The negative environmental affects that arise from unsuitable methods of mining and quarrying include land degradation, river diversion, disturbance to wildlife and vegetation and air water pollution. In gold mining areas water pollution is aggravated by the use of mercury by artisans and small miners. On the other hand, bad fishing practices (use of dynamite, chemical poisons, small nets) destroy the aquatic life cycle and fish stock.
In urban areas, environmental problems are serious in the unplanned, usually congested settlements. There is lack of waste separation between hazards and non-hazardous, industrial, domestic and hospital waste and poor management of landfills. Industrial effluent, noxious gases, vehicular exhausts pollute water (lakes, rivers and ocean) and air mainly in major urban centers like Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Morogoro, Arusha, Tanga and Mbeya (Environmental policy).
Also environmental degradation in coastal areas is a serious problem, which has escalated in the last 10 years, such that it has now given rise to serious concern. Tanzania’s coastline stretches 800 km along the Indian Ocean, which like other developing countries is experiencing rapid change. The following examples show the dimension of the problem:
Dar es Salaam used to have very clean and attractive beaches as well as commendable tourist beach hotels. But some, if not most of them, are now in danger of falling down because of coastline erosion.
Waves reach the beaches at a terrific speed and as a result erosion is inevitable. This has become possible because of, among other reasons, dynamite fishing, which has destroyed the coral reefs which used to buffer the hotels. Thus, dynamite fishing has not only destroyed life in the sea, but has given the sea a free ticket to destroy the beaches.
The Hotel Africana was swallowed by the waters a few years ago, others which might also face extinction in the coming few years include Bahari Beach Hotel, Kunduchi Beach Hotel, Silver Sands Hotel and White Sands Hotel, which was built just a few years back.
In efforts to fight erosion, hotel owners have constructed stone and concrete barriers on beaches, but such measures have not stopped the erosion. Apart from that, the construction of these structures has made these beaches ugly and unsuitable for beach-goers including tourists. So it is just a matter of years before these hotels will be rendered useless like their predecessor, Hotel Africana.
Another beach hotel has just been stopped in its tracks. This one was being constructed along the Oyster bay. The point about this project is that the hotel, being built by a big businessman in Dar es Salaam is within 60 metres of the shore. This is contrary to the law on such projects. The law says that a hotel should be built at a distance of more than 60 meters from the shore. This project was approved during the former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi’s tenure in office. This raised a lot of eyebrows in the country. The speed at which it was being built also raised a lot of questions.
However, during the campaigns for the general election in 1995, one of the presidential candidates promised to deal with the issue as one of his priorities, if he won. Well, he won and a few months later he said the project owner followed the right procedures to acquire the plot so he did not see the logic in stopping the project. However, a presidential commission on corruption maintained that the plot might have been allocated through corrupt means. This was partly because the law was in force when the allocation was made after it was turned down several times before.
The project owners, Indian Ocean Hotels Ltd., stopped constructing the hotel more than a year ago. There are reports that the government has ordered the demolition of the hotel and offered to compensate the developers for the costs incurred so far. It is said that the owners were issued with a permanent restraining order by the City Commission two years ago and consequently suspended work.
The end results are rapid depletion of the resources and people’s livelihoods, health hazards and intensification of poverty. While it is important to address each of these problems separately, comprehensive solutions call for mutually reinforcing interventions.
It is estimated that O.5 million hectares of forests is cleared annually, resulting in desertification, rapid rural-urban migration and rampart existence of famine. Although more than 80% of Tanzanians are farmers; there was a shortage of 661,000 tons of food in year 2001/2002 due to poor rainfall in 1999/2000 and poor agricultural practice overgrazing (Kusila, June 2000). There is very poor local community participation in identifying environmental problems and how could be handled as in case of illegalization policy (kikula, 1995). Even if the majority of Tanzania knows about environmental degradation and its impacts in terms of shortage of rainfall, and infertile land, there is great lack of extension services to empower them to utilize their available resources sustainability. Out of 83,000 rural villages, about 25% of them have extension officers (MOA, 1991) who do not seem to deliver effectively what the society expects from them.
Major Environmental Problems in Tanzania
Human impacts on deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing, and degradation of water resources and loss of biodiversity have all resulted into land degradation. Poor agricultural practices such as shifting cultivation, lack of crop rotation practices, lack of agricultural technology and land husband techniques exacerbate the problem.
Liviga (1999), contends that the effects of ever stocking, which are localized, give rise to serious degradation in places such as Shunyanga and Mbulu where livestock units have exceeded the carrying capacity. This situation is seen as a good indicator of each of capacity for the decentralized institution at the local level to enforce laws and instruments which are meant to ensure sound environmental management.
Pollution management and urbanization
Pollution is a major problem in urban areas of Tanzania. Improper treatment and disposal of solid and liquid wastes are the major contributors to urban area pollution. The combined results of these problems are that both air and water have been contaminated with pollutants, which are detrimental to human health. In Dar es Salaam, for example, less than 5% of the population is connected to a sewage system. Where a sewage system exists, raw sewage is discharged directly into the Indian Ocean without prior treatment. Thus a workable water supply and sewage treatment is needed for the urban areas.
Agricultural and range Land Resources Management.
Agriculture and rangeland resources are the backbone of Tanzania’s economy. It is estimated that about 55% of the land could be used for agriculture and over 51% for pastoral lands. However, only about six percent of the agricultural and is cultivated with the practice of shifting cultivation which caused deforestation and land degradation on the pastoral land. Lake Manyara basin, Geita Gold Mines, Usangu Wetlands and Ngorongoro Conservation areas have been affected the most by inadequate control and land management.
The main cause for these problems is due to lack of proper instruments of enforcement of the existing legislation, policy and by-laws by local authorities. Again where the mandates of central and local institutions on environmental management are weak, conflicting and confusing; enforcement of laws and implementations plans becomes difficult if not impossible.
Management of forest resources
Forest resources provide both direct products and by-products. The forest reserves are also linked with agriculture, beekeeping energy, water uses and biodiversity. It is estimated that fuel wood and agricultural residues account for 92% of the total energy consumption in the country. As a result, the mismanagement of fuel resources, timber business, charcoal and logging significantly contributes to deforestation and environmental degradation.
Management of Wildlife Resources
Tanzania is one of the few countries with vast number of wildlife resources. For example, Tanzania’s, “protected areas” cover about 25% of the total land (Nshala: 1999). The protected land is comprises of national parks, game reserves, game controlled areas and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Unfortunately, communities living around these protected areas do not benefit from the wildlife industry. They live in uncertain conditions visited by persistent attacks by the wild animals and destruction of their crops. This has resulted in an antagonistic relationship between the wildlife authorities and the local populace. Local communities resort to activities like poaching to gain access to and benefits from the wildlife management.
Management of mineral resources
With respect to mineral resources, a Joint Appraisal Mission Report (1999) noted conflicting authorities on matters regarding mineral prospecting and mining. Additionally, local authorities have a minimal role in the mineral resource management process, despite the fact that mineral depletion is occurring in the local communities’ area. Any attempts made by local authorities to make by-laws imposing mineral levy such kind of by-laws have been met with an “outcry of double taxation” by mineral concessionaires against both the central government and the local authorities.
The Tanzanian economy depends upon mineral resources for a major source of its revenues. However, mineral exploitation is often done without regard to environmental and social impacts. Thus the Mining Act of 1998 addressed this problem and required mining companies to conduct environmental impact assessments. Mining activities are major cause of environmental degradation by deforestation, destruction of habitat, loss of biodiversity and general damage to the land.
Impact of soil degradation
In the process of discussing the impact we should like to revisit what we said at the beginning of this chapter which is that we cannot discuss the environmental crisis in abstract that is outside the rubric of the national development processes. In this context we would like to argue the present environmental turmoil has a lot to do with the fragility of Tanzania agricultural economy the basis of which is very externally dependent. The nature of the environment is very much linked to this kind of economy. The structuring restructuring of the external forces normally have a direct influence on the national economy just as much as is also true of the vice versa(Mbilinyi,1994).
Due to depletion of the vegetation cover, soil erosion is a most common feature, and with it goes the soil fertility. Degradation of the land through erosion first reduces the activities of people on land due to formation of gullies and wastelands. Secondly agricultural productivity is highly affected and for that, peasants are forced to intensify their labour through expansion of their fields while the production keeps on dwindling due to infertility of the soil. Due to this very reason the economy of the country which depends largely on exportation of agricultural products greatly affected. The low output is also caused by the fact that deforestation and desertification results in lack of rains and reduction of water in the soil due to a fall in the water table and ever the rising evaporation.
Individual Tanzanian suffer from environmental destruction due to increased workload, women in particular have to use minimum of seven hours a day to go in search of firewood. Some say that population pressure as the cause of fire wood scarcity, the truth still remains that intensive and extensive cutting of trees have contributed greatly.
Environmental destruction has also greatly affected climatic condition in Tanzania. Tropical climate used to dominate is being replaced by semi-desert climate, therefore water sources are drying and, water tables are falling. In some places like Shinyanga all the rivers have dried up. Region patterns and amount have been altered greatly that is why year after year flood events hit different parts of the country and thus makes it difficult to predict and manage them.
Drying and destruction of water sources has resulted into increasing hardships to the people in the affected areas. The hardships which are a result of shortage of water supply are first increasing workload through waling distances to water sources. This being woman’s work the whole production capacity of women suffers through fetching water.
Due to water scarcity there is a problem of hygiene which affects people’s health. People and livestock tend to scramble for water in the few available sources and thus water borne diseases like amoeba, bilharzias, typhoid, diahhorea and other stomach ailment are a result. Water scarcity also contributes to poor health due to the changing cooking, washing and eating habits. People are forced to eat once a day in an attempt to economies on water and firewood which are increasingly becoming scarce. As a result malnutrition among children and women is very high and so is high death rate for children particularly those under five (Shao; 1994).
When water is polluted, plants take in poisonous substances from water it results for stunted growth, poor crop yield and death of plants; Acid rain corrodes buildings; the habitat of aquatic animals and plants is destroyed when water is polluted. Also water pollution leads to the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid and the soil looses its fertility and causes plants roots to die.
Therefore environmental destruction brings about a circle of poverty whereby poverty forced people to exploit the environment which in turn affected the climate and lower production while at the same time increasing workload. The society becomes sickly and weak, it fails to produce and hence it is stuck in the quagmire of poverty.
That is why communication and education are important in this respect in helping to raise the awareness of the people and make them understand the issues and problems involved. Education and communication are also important in efforts to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills required for participation in sustainable development of coastal regions. In other words, people should be enabled to make decisions. They should be helped to do so only after proper cost-benefit analysis as regards the pluses and minuses of the pending activity. As a rule people tend to look at immediate economic gains (most of which are short-term); they should be armed with tools to enable them to look critically at the environment and forecast the effects of a project, adverse or otherwise, before implementation.
In that respect, information, through education in all its forms, is informal and formal and at all levels is one of the basic prerequisites for achieving the needed levels of consciousness to help people in decision making. It is imperative to point out here that the intention is not to create a bank-client relationship but to create a thinking person, one of dialogue, of communication. That is why this information has to be communicated by all means, for example, inter-personal discussions, theatre, newspapers, radio and television, but the bottom line should be to arm the consumer with tools of analysis to help him/her in the cost-benefit analysis whenever and wherever the question of environmental exploitation arises.
Importance of environment in economy of Tanzania
Importance of Environment in the economy of Tanzania is of four folds: it provides the basic resources for virtually all socio-economic activity in the country, it holds natural habitats, plants and animals that are art of an irreplaceable global heritage, waste receptacle and a foundation for eventual alleviation of abject poverty. It follows therefore that the major thrust of environmental management is protection of the natural living space of humankind and integration of environmental scarcity in making decision on all economic issues and activities.
The government of Tanzania realised the danger facing such resources including clean air, fossil fuels, whales, hardwoods and endangered species by taking appropriate measures ranging from policy, legal framework and institutional arrangement which are conforming to socio-political and economic system.
The government in collaboration with various stakeholders has put emphasis on promoting, strengthening and sensitising communities and individuals participation as a strategy to invigorate environmental conservation and management. Together with these there were awareness campaign, environmental education and skills development which complemented on various issues of environmental conservation and management. Emphasise for the environmental conservation and management is to raise the capacity and ability of the communities and individuals in sustainable management for own benefits and for the future generation. It is vividly that the efforts have raised the public awareness, interests and actions as more than 159 Community Based Organisations (CBO) and non-Governmental Organisations (NGOS) has been formed as well as private sector and individuals joining the process. Furthermore, the government and other collaborating institutions and agencies such as CBOs / NGOs are implementing various programmes both in rural and urban areas. The media institutions (radio, TV, press, newspapers) has played a significant role in sensitising and undertaking various education programmes on environmental issues thereby cultivating public / private interest, commitment and awareness on environmental management and conservation aspects.
The government adopted sector policies related with forest; mineral, wildlife; fisheries; agriculture and livestock and land which put priority on conservation and management of resources and environment, raising public awareness and understanding of the linkages between environment and livelihood, and promoting international co-operation on environmental agenda. Current intervention are directed in implementing the National Action Programme to Combat Desertification, Biodiversity Conservation, environmental friendly production practice sand abatement of pollution and strengthening both human resources and institution.
It is clear that current global, regional and national environmental conservation and management are aiming towards overcoming poverty-related problems, diseases, food insecurity and insufficiency, filth shelter, unsafe water, inadequate energy supply and unemployment.
Growing awareness of the general public and individuals advantages of sound environmental conservation and management forms the basis for sustaining the resources and environment. This goes together with implementation of sound strategies on poverty eradication as poverty is highly tied with unsustainable resources utilisation and environmental degradation and promotes joint gender efforts. Furthermore, the government has committed itself in environment conservation and management and poverty eradication with full support of individuals, CBO, NGOs and Donor Agencies.
Public and Private Sector's Role
It is widely accepted that environmental management is everybody’s responsibility. The roles of the government institutions are to assist local communities to become aware of their own situation and support them to become responsible for their own destiny. Important is policy formulation, setting regulatory and institutional framework and promotion of education programmes. Furthermore, the government will be responsible with timely provision, updating generation and dissemination of accurate information related with environmental management.
As stated in the National environmental Policy 1997 and concretised by Development Vision 2025 the local communities as well as business entities has the responsibilities of planning, implementing programmes / projects that are reflecting their needs and foster efficiency in resource utilisation including reuse, recycling and reduction of waste. In addition the private sector has the role of participating in different forum including policy and legal formulation process related with environmental management.
Environmental management has received attention from many donor agencies than any sector in Tanzania due to its importance to the rest of the economy. Donor agencies contributing financial and technical resources are: DFID; ICUN, GEF; WWF; FAO; WB; USAID; UNDP; UNEP, CARE, as well as Governments of Finland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Priorities for Actions:
High priority has been put on designing and implementing environment policies aimed at both conservation and management of the resources and environment, raising public awareness and understanding of the linkages between environment and their livelihoods, and promoting international co-operation on the environment agenda.
The Government has adopted the forest policy, mineral sector policy, wildlife policy, fisheries policy and land policy. Priority interventions will be directed at implementing the National Action Programme to Combat Desertification, Biodiversity Conservation; cleaner production in industries and abatement of pollution; and human resources and institutional strengthening. The key actions will include.
Strategies that empower local communities, the civil society at large and the private sector to participate effectively in environmental conservation activities, public awareness on sustainable use of the natural resources through education and public media, energy efficiency programmes and development of alternative energy sources, environmentally sound practices for small-scale mining and fishing activities, cleaner production for industries through incentive mechanisms and economic instruments promoting re-use and recycling of waste, promoting of pollution, desertification and drought, development of standards and indicators for environmental management and data base, promoting of traditional biodiversity conservation practices, formulation and implementation of integrated coastal zone management programmes, Implementation of relevant aspects of international treaties on the environment
PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES AND CONCLUSION
We have seen different efforts done by the Government at least to reduce the problem, but more plans and strategy to deal with the problem. The following points have also to be put into consideration in order to help efforts of the Government give good results:
Good policies on environment protection have to be established.
The natural resources taken should be in some way benefit all community for example those who cut trees in the Southern part of Tanzania for logs and timber should have done something bigger for the whole community not building houses for village leaders only.
Good governance should be practiced, for example, The big tons of logs which are transferred to other countries and the government gets a small percent and sometime got nothing because of some readers involving themselves in different kind of corruption, like embezzlement, fraud and soon.
The decision made must involve those who will be affected by the action.
Forecasting on what will be the effects of the project in the future, and sometime find protective measures. For example if they agree that a company which cuts trees in a certain area, should be told to plant other trees or provide means for the community to do so on their behalf.
Training, projects, seminars should be conducted to make people aware of the importance of environment in their life.
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