THE East African Community (EAC) is striving for ecosystem restoration. As the world marks the environmental day today, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Mr Christophe Bazivamo has called on the six partner states to increase regional coordination in response to the increasing problems of the Ecosystems.
“We are all aware of the challenges the region is facing, including those related to the management of natural resources and the environment,” he said in Dodoma during a workshop.
He disclosed that in response to the increasing challenges to the management of ecosystems, Article 114 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community, the EAC Partner States have amongst other things, agreed to adopt common policies and exchange of information on the development, conservation and management of natural resources.
Mr Bazivamo said ecosystems support the livelihoods of majority of the people and the regional economy in general, saying ecosystems provide goods and services, which include food, water, medicine, biological diversity as well as raw materials to industries, and are indeed vital to socio-economic development.
The Deputy Secretary General was speaking at the EAC Regional Environmental Week (EACREW) workshop-themed ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ as part of the World Environmental Day that is always commemorated on 5th of June worldwide.
He informed participants that the region is facing numerous environmental challenges that undermine efforts to improve the quality of life of citizens and attain sustainable development objectives.
These challenges include pollution, desertification, deterioration of aquatic and fresh water ecosystems, climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, pests and diseases, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. He reiterated the commitment of EAC to promote investment in the removal of hazard risks to humans and the environment, including reduction of emerging environmental and health hazards risk in the region.
The Assistant Director of Pollution Control at the office of the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Ms Kemilembe Mutasa commended the EAC Secretariat for the good work done and a well-articulated Regional Agenda that ensures environmental conservation issues are factored in the development agenda of the Region, particularly on transboundary ecosystem.
Ms Mutasa called for the EAC Secretariat as the regional coordinator to support partner states’ strategies particularly those that are transboundary in nature.
The four-day event will also include school competitions, tree planting as well as sports and traditional events organized by the local communities as part of the activities of the EAC Regional Environment Week.
The objective of the EACREW is to increase public awareness of the need to sustainably manage and conserve the environment and natural resources in the region.