22 June 2012

Tanzania: Huvisa Touts Green Economy At Earth Summit

Photo: Albert González Farran/UN Photo
A child pushes a water roller.

Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil — SOUTHERN Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) is an investment blue print targeting to take the country to a sustainable green economy.

Addressing a Rio+20 side event about investing in natural capital organized jointly by World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and Africa Development Bank, Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office (Environment), Dr Terezya Huvisa, noted that the country stands to benefit immensely by going green through initiatives such as SAGCOT.

"The 2011 SAGCOT investment blueprint envisions profitable farming systems services, businesses supported by infrastructure, value chains and human capital development. Innovative financing will include a public-private sector and multi-donor catalytic investment fund leveraged over 2bn US dollars," noted Dr Huvisa.

The minister further noted that the SACGOT region offered immense potential for Tanzania which continues to be bogged down by high poverty levels and vulnerability to climate change.

SAGCOT's Green Growth Strategy includes a number of key components that will safeguard key ecosystem services and natural capital for agriculture and rural communities and support climate smart agriculture to capture carbon in soils and vegetation, improve yields and resilience to droughts and floods as well as protect water quality and biodiversity.

The strategy furthermore involves agricultural investments for food and nutrition security with opportunities for export earnings and using Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), to help finance transitions to low-emission energy systems plus designating wildlife corridors in conjunction to maintain biodiversity, improve tourism revenues and minimize human-wildlife conflict.

As the Rio +20 talks continue, Dr Huviza noted that the green growth concept will give hope to sustainable climate smart agriculture and social development to be mainstreamed into development initiatives. The SAGCOT blueprint for Tanzania is a laboratory for testing and implementing this concept and will provide valuable lessons for the agriculture sector in Africa.

Speaking during the same event, WWF's Director General, Jim Leape noted that "it is extremely disappointing to see that the international process on sustainable development culminating in the RIO+20 Conference, is failing in terms of achieving firm commitments in regard to preserving our natural capital.

Mr Leape said it is extremely encouraging to see that individual countries, the champions of this world, are stepping up to the challenge and take crucial actions where international negotiations are failing.

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