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Page Background Tanzania strives to industrialise with a strict eye on environment protection Agro-industrialisation stands as a development priority of the fth-phase government of Tanzania led by a former chemistry teacher, President John Pombe Magufuli but with a strict eye on protection of environment. Tanzania’s agro-industrialisation approach to development seeks to pull Tanzania out of the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). But implementation of the agro-industrialisation approach can easily damage Tanzania’s environment. So environment has to be protected and preserved as Tanzania battles to haul millions out of poverty. The government’s watchdog in protecting environment is the National Environment Management Council (NEMC). To give the Council due weight, it was placed under the O ce of the Vice-President. For one to understand the importance of NEMC and its role as Tanzania strives to become a middle-in- come nation, one has to understand its history and its local and international relevance. The Council was established in 1983 under an act of parliament known as the National Environment Management Act No. 19 of 1983 as an advisory body to the government and other stakeholders on environmental matters. In 2004 the 1983 Act was repealed and replaced by the Environment Manage- ment Act No. 20 of 2004, to provide for a legal and institutional framework for sustainable manage- ment of the environment. The new lawmandated the Council to undertake enforcement, compliance, review and monitoring of environmental impact assessments, research, facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making raise environmental awareness and collect and disseminate environmental information. Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa. It was established in 1964 as a United Republic between Tanganyika, now called Tanzania Mainland and the Zanzibar. Bothmainland Tanzania and the Zanzibar want to overcome poverty using the agro-industrialisation approach that has been used by other developing countries. It is pertinent perhaps to highlight here that Tanzania’s agro-industrialisation drive has its roots from Tanzania’s culture of re-examining her development strategies in order to enhance its cardinal objective of transforming mainland Tanzania into a middle-income country by 2025 and transform Zanzibar into a middle-income country by 2020. In 2015 the fth phase government assumed powers and emphasises on galvanising agriculture and promotion of small, medium and large scale industries primarily to tackle unemployment and enhance economic growth. Speci cally, the government says there must be productivity in agriculture so that Tanzania (now projected to have 55 million people) feeds itself, produces raw material for the country’s industrial sector, exports surplus, creates employment to its people and achieve sustainable development. However, such development has cost implications. At this juncture it is probably pertinent to highlight a few illustrative examples. Tanzania has a vision of becoming an industrialised country, but industries need a lot of electricity. Currently Tanzania generates about 1,450 megawatts, far below the national demand. In order to meet such power demand, the government has embarked on the construction of the 2,100 MW Ru ji Hydropower Project in Stiegler’s Gorge, located in Selous Game Reserve, which is a World Heritage Site. Protection of environment has been at the centre of the industrialisation drive. Environmental concerns have been addressed in the Environmental Impact Study that has been carried out. This venture will stimulate growth of the national economy by enhancing conservation of the Ru ji catchment and add the ow of water to Mtera and Kidatu power schemes. Some examples on the activities undertaken by NEMC include; • Review of Environmental Impact Studies to projects that may cause signi cant impacts to environ- ment. • Close monitoring of those projects that have signi cant negative impacts to the environment such as mines, industries and other polluting facilities. • Promote conservation of endangered species, such as the Kihansi Spray Toad which had disappeared from its original habitat but was successfully reintroduced and is now being closely monitored. • NEMC coordinated the environmental cleaning of about 950 tons of obsolete agrochemicals under the African Stockpile Programme, which were sent to Poland and United Kingdom for incineration. • The Council is also an accredited Institution for the Adaptation Fund. • NEMC has identi ed environmentally sensitive areas that are highly degraded but currently not under any form of protection. Management Plans for such areas will be prepared in collaboration with stakeholders including local communities. • Due to changing environmental trends of the coast, NEMC in collaboration with other stakeholders has produced three State of the Coast reports and is working on nalising the fourth. These reports have helped to provide necessary information to stakeholders on the management of coastal environ- ment. • NEMC closely monitors the existing Biosphere Reserves (Manyara, Serengeti-Ngorongoro and Eastern Usambara) and recently facilitated the entrance of two new sites (Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park in Zanzibar and Gombe-Masito-Ugalla in Kigoma) into aork of Biosphere Reserves. Deputy Minister of State in Vice President’s O ce (Union Matters and Environment), Musa Sima speaks to environmentalexperts inTanzania’sCommercialCity Dares Salaam recently on the need to enforce laws and regulations. Acting Director General of National Environmental Management Council (NEMC), Dr Vedast Makota stresses a point to new environmental inspectors during the induction programme held in Tanzania’s Capital City Dodoma recently. NEMC environmental assistants holding a special box carrying kihansi toads ready to return them habitual environment after experiment. For further information, please contact: The National Environment Management Council Regent Estate Plot No. 29/30, P.O. Box 63154 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tel: +255 22 2774852/4889 mob. 0713608930 Fax: +255 22 2774901. Email: dg@nemc.or.tz www.nemc.or.tz