STATE Minister in the Vice President’s Office for Environment and Union Affairs, Mr George Simbachawene, says the government is committed to the implementation of the National Climate Change Strategy and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13.
The strategy seeks to enable the country to effectively adapt to climate change and participate in global efforts to mitigate climate change, whilst also achieving sustainable development goal - Climate Action.
Mr Simbachawene noted during the recent National Conference to Promote Climate Change Adaptation that the strategy was vital to build a critical mass expertise to address adaptation challenges and safeguarding precious natural resources.
“I am pleased to disclose our commitment to draw down at least 500 million US dollars per year from the international climate funds and make this available for climate actions on the ground,” remarked the minister while opening the meeting.
Mr Simbachawene explained that the government recognized the valuable work of the ECO-ACT project and Institute of Rural Development Planning (IRDP) and its partners in Chamwino District and Dodoma City Council as well as Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) projects in the country.
“The projects have all successfully introduced multiple activities into communities and worked alongside relevant local authorities to become more resilient to climate change and its impacts,” he said.
On her part, the Head of Natural Resources Sector of the European Union (EU) Delegation in the country, Ms Jenny Correia Nunes, whose Union supports the GCCA initiative, pointed out that the Tanzania GCCA programme funded by the EU started 10 years ago.
“The programme which focuses on the eco-village approach, is an integrated approach to tackle climate change and adapt to it in various aspects of rural life,” she said.
Ms Nunes commended the local government’s involvement in the implementation of the climate action, noting that local authorities were in a good position to plan, allocate budgets and implement climaterelated actions.
“We are committed to continue working with the government and other stakeholders, including the private sector in Tanzania to address challenges of climate change,” she said.
The Rector of IRDP, Prof Hozen Mayaya, observed that the IRDP Governing Council did, at its 56th meeting, agree to support the Idifu leather factory and develop Idifu Village as a model village for rural development.
“IRDP will therefore develop a Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) within Idifu Leather Factory premises to further train the rural community on various nonfarm activities that will assist in reducing dependence on agriculture as an income generating activity,” he said.
Prof Mayaya further said that IRDP had been running undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in environmental planning and management in which climate change was part and parcel of the programme.
“Now with our involvement in eco-village projects, largely Eco Act project, we are able to give our students practical experience in this community based training ground,” he said.
Prof Mayaya said the practical training through study visits made by IRDP students, had enabled the institute’s students to develop an eco-village in his home village of Zeze in Kasulu District.