Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

9 July 2014

Tanzania: Activists Challenged On Environment Policies

Dodoma — ENVIRONMENTALISTS were challenged to help the country form comprehensive environment policies for the green economy to thrive.

University of Dodoma (UDOM) Vice-Chancellor, Prof Idris Kikula, opening a three-day international conference on the Green Economy in the Global South held at the university, said Tanzania was faced with numerous challenges brought by large investments being made in the country.

Delegates from over 22 countries in the world are attending the conference hosted by UDOM's Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.

This is the first time that Tanzania has hosted such a meeting. "The condition in developing countries provides a basis to pursue a low carbon and resource efficient path of economic growth and development.

This should be anchored in investment and policy reform designed to enhance livelihoods for the poor, create employment opportunities and reduce poverty," he said.

He added further that the move towards green economy should also provide an opportunity to address the infrastructural challenges of developing countries to maintain the current low-carbon emissions.

He pointed out that developing countries economy relays heavily on natural capital assets with existence of large potential for renewable energy and thus optimization of use of such assets for development is a critical issue.

Prof Kikula challenged delegates to ensure that apart from deliberating on scientific papers to also answer questions related to on how the least developed countries (LDCs) can jump start the green economy transition, point out policies and investments that will allow for such a jump.

"I would like you to also help in explaining how LDCs are likely to address structural constraints such as dependence on fragile agriculture and limited access to energy, which have previously prevent LCDs from significantly reducing poverty and achieving higher rates of development," he said.

Mr Thabit Jacob, who is the conference organiser working at the university's Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, said the conference had drawn participants from 22 countries around the global and a total of 70 papers were due to be presented in the course of the three days.

He said the meeting was crucial in addressing issues related to large-scale farming, mining, poaching and environmental policies that focus on ensuring a green economy.

"A total of 70 papers will be presented, mainly scientific researches that will focus on various large investment activities and environmental projects taking place in the country and come up with policy recommendations," he said.

He added that in focus were issues related to economic initiatives, including carbon payments, ecotourism, community-based wildlife management, corporate social responsibility initiatives and offsets by mining companies exploiting new resources which are all a part of a landscape offering new commodities and opportunities for commercialisation, and integration into wealth generating markets.

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