14 February 2013

Tanzania: Protect the Environment for Future Generations-VP

THE current generation should protect against environmental degradation for the benefit of future generations because enough damage has already been done.

Vice-President Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal said in Dar es Salaam while officiating the 2nd Green Growth platform meeting that with strong population growth and energy needs, the environment is suffering further degradation.

In a speech read on his behalf by Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office responsible for the environment, Dr Terezya Huvisa, Dr Bilal pointed out that most people in the current generation think that they have the right to destroy the environment which they inherited from their ancestors.

"But we should start thinking that we have borrowed this environment from our children hence have an obligation to repay it," he stressed. Warning that abundant discovery of oil and natural gas risks causing further environmental destruction and income disparity, the VP emphasized that government is putting in place a policy and regulatory mechanisms to safeguard equality.

He underlined the government's commitment to green growth which is an initiative of Uongozi Institute as providing a solution to a lot of damage already done to the environment hence signatory to Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord. "Today's problem cannot be solved if we think in the same way as when we caused them," the VP noted quoting renowned scientist Albert Einstein.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Finish Ambassador, Sinikka Antila said sustainable growth and poverty reduction are dependent on green economy. Ambassador Antila noted that non sustainable use of forests through charcoal making and firewood is posing a real danger to future generations.

"Economic growth is not, however only about gross domestic product, the perception of the importance of growth as driver for development has changed since the 1992 Rio Convention," said Antila. She pledged her government's continued support to Tanzania's quest for sustainable use of natural resources such as forests because Finland has the expertise and experience in forest management.

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