20 February 2013

Tanzania: Govt Includes Local Knowledge in Climate Change Mitigation

THERE is a ray of hope for people in Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro districts as indigenous knowledge will be included in government planning for climate change mitigation.

The Tanzania Natural Resources Forum Head of Programmes, Mr Geofrey Mwanjela, told the 'Daily News' yesterday that during their preparatory oneyear project, it was discovered that there was a major rifts between the two. "We found that while pastoralists are masters of adaptation, climate change has proved to make this impossible but unfortunately government formal planning processes are not incorporating their knowledge though being possible," he said.

Mr Mwanjela said that in yesteryears, pastoralists were easily able to move their cattle during dry seasons but nowadays climate change and bad land use practices were restraining them. He said that during one year of mainstreaming of the climate change adaptation in dry lands development planning, they had conducted a pilot project in Longido for resource mapping and findings showed that the demand for more land was high.

"As we prepare for the continuation of the project for another four years, we plan to start with resource mapping in all districts of Arusha because we found that it was key and demanded by many," he said. The Assistant Director - Vice-President's Office, Environmental Impact Assessment and Climate Change, Mr Richard Muyungi, said that adaptation of climate change required a multisectoral approach and was happy that the TNRF project involved the community.

"It is worth to note that challenges of adapting to climate change requires commitment, support and participation of all stakeholders at both national and international levels and must involve government, private sector and NGOs," he said. Mr Muyungi said that the lessons from the three districts needed to be replicated in other areas of the country.

The Monduli District Executive Director (DED), Mr Twalib Mbasha, echoing on the use of indigenous knowledge said that it needed to be incorporated with budgets at national level. Mr Mbasha said that when the 2009 drought broke out, the pastoralists had already seen the signs though the experts and decision makers had no clue of it.

He said that all signs were showing that there would be increased land disputes because more villages were demanding demarcation of their territory and that something needed to be done. The Ngorongoro DED, Dr Karaine Kimaat Kunei, said that while indigenous knowledge needed to be merged in government plans, it was insignificant if good governance isn't respected.

Dr Kunei said that it was saddening that much as there were laws, policies and other enforcement tools in blueprint, many were not being implemented and the reason deforestation, charcoal burning, lack of proper land use still prevailed.

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