|Norway praises Tanzania stance on climate issues|
| [30.01.2012, 10:59am, Mon. GMT]|
|Norway has commended the progress made by Tanzania and a decision by the government to integrate climate change and environment issues in its development plan. Norway, a chief investor in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Tanzania, said through its ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Ingunn Klepsivik, that it has been impressed by the work done by the national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) programme.|
She, however, asked that more research be done and projects established especially in rural areas.
To start with, she said, her country would be ready to support post-graduate students of climate change-related subjects at PhD and Masters levels at Mzumbe University, the University of Dar es Salaam and Sokoine University of Agriculture to build more experts in the area.
Ms Klepsivik who was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on climate change and REDD for Members of Parliament in Bagamoyo, said a few countries, including Tanzania, had gone from the stage of understanding the problems to having solutions.
“There are nine projects implemented in Tanzania by different non governmental organisations…we have been quite impressed that there is a lot of progress,” she said without naming the projects.
She said about $83 million has been donated by Norway which has been spent for a period of five years since 2008, promising that more would be given depending on how the country fights deforestation.
She told MPs who are members of the Land, Natural Resources and Environment as well as Finance and Economic Affairs committees that deforestation and forest degradation were now accepted as the causes of some 15-20 per cent of global emissions of greenhouse gases.
“We need to put more efforts on fighting poor land use practices…this is within our abilities,” she insisted.
The Ambassador said there were two drivers leading to emissions of greenhouse gases in agricultural expansion and charcoal trade and asked that they be addressed without adversely affecting food and energy security.
Reports show that deforestation and forest degradation lead to release of the carbon originally stored in the trees as CO2 emissions.
“We should also make sure that issues of property rights and land tenure and benefit sharing mechanisms are addressed under REDD because we want to make sure that the programme (REDD) contributes to rural development and mitigate potential conflicts.”
Earlier, the permanent secretary in the Vice President’s office Sazi Salula said effects of global change were evident in the developing countries more than it was in the developed world and it was upon everyone to fight the effects.
“We have to come together and fight the effects…we know that 80 per cent of the causes of climate change are contributed by human activities, let’s educate our people on how they can do to reduce the effects,” the PS told the MPs.
The director of Forest and Beekeeping division Dr Felician Kilahama cautioned in the seminar that projects like the Kilimo Kwanza should not forget the responsibility of preserving the environment.
“We should tell our big investors and even small farmers to observe good farming practices…local government leaders should sensitize our people on this,” he said.
Tanzania is endowed with large and valuable forest resources. About 33.5 million hectares is forests and woodlands. Out of this total area, almost two thirds consists of woodlands on public lands which, however, lack proper management, according to Dr Kilahama.