SOUTHERN African Development Community (SADC) Ministers responsible for Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism discussed and approved the Tourism Development Protocol that targets to increase the sector's contribution to SADC economies amid Covid-19 and Climate Change impact.
Tanzania Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mary Masanja (MP) said that the move will help the region to remain resilient despite the ongoing pandemic.
The Deputy Minister made the remarks in Dodoma, when addressing the media immediately after a meeting of SADC Ministers responsible for Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism that was held virtually over the weekend.
The meeting was also attended by the officials from The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (SMZ) focusing on Tourism and Environment.
Moreover, she explained that the Protocol will promote Tourism in SADC countries and among other things, will help to strengthen tourism promotion activities and lead to an increase in the number of tourists visiting SADC countries.
In addition, the Ms Masanja said that Tanzania as a member state of SADC has been cooperating with member states in wildlife conservation issues and successfully controlling poaching.
“The success of the Joint Poaching Control Strategy is the growing cooperation between members state in controlling poaching and the illegal trade in government trophies; and co-operation in training wildlife officers with the aim of building capacity in addressing the challenges of conserving wildlife resources,” she pointed out.
The Deputy Minister further said that among other things, the conference also discussed and approved the SADC Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, where members state were encouraged to implement the action plan.
Also they were informed about the establishment of a Thematic Working Group for coordinating climate change issues as well as mitigating the effects of disasters.
"In order to facilitate the implementation of the role of environmental protection, Ministers approved the SADC member states to join The Green Climate Fund, where through this fund member states will be able to access funding for environmental protection and conservation," said the deputy minister.
The Ministers also passed the SADC Protocol on Environment for Sustainable Development and the SADC Forest Strategy 2020-2030.
Through the Forest Strategy, the members state will be capacitated on how to increase and control the business of forest products.
The SADC Ministerial Conference that chaired by Mozambique is held every two years; last held in 2019 with Tanzania as the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).