VP launches Coastal and Marine Environment Report

DAR ES SALAAM: Vice President Dr Philip Mpango has launched the State of Coastal and Marine Environment in Mainland Tanzania report instructing the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) to urgently address urban waste across the country.

Dr Mpango said Friday in Dar es Salaam, many cities are overwhelmed with waste in every corner as NEMC lacks legal enforcement power.

He directed immediate overhaul of legal deficiencies that undermine their ability to effectively manage environmental cleanliness for necessary amendments.

ALSO READ: Climate change causes 1 percent annual loss of Tanzania’s GDP 

“We have raised sufficient noise about the management, conservation, and cleanliness of the environment, and the law is an obstacle, so let the procedures be examined,” he said “NEMC should review the laws and report what should be fixed,” he said.

Currently, he said the effects of climate change contribute to a loss of one percent of the national GDP. It is also estimated that by 2030, there could be a loss of three percent of the GDP if concrete measures are not taken.

NEMC Director General Dr. Immaculate Semesi detailed that the country, like any other, faces environmental challenges ranging from climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and environmental degradation, to resource scarcity.

“These realities affect our daily lives in health, growth, relationships, and the economy, and these adverse effects will extend to future generations if not addressed now,” she said.

“The scientific consensus is clear that urgent and decisive actions are needed to protect our environment,” she added.

She explained that the environment is a cross-cutting sector requiring collective effort in its management.

The Environmental Management Act No. 20 of 2004 tasks NEMC with the responsibilities of overseeing environmental impacts in the country.

Environmental management continues to require new and strategic approaches due to ongoing changes in ecological systems and harvesting and production technologies.

Detailing the report, Dr Julius Francis from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) said the report is prepared according to the National Strategy for the Management of Coastal and Marine Resources, contributing to the preparation of environmental reports and fulfilling the requirements of the Nairobi Convention for the management and development of the marine and coastal environment in the Indian Ocean area, as required by other international bodies to prepare reports every five or ten years.

He explained that the publication was prepared by 18 experts from government institutions and is divided into six main sections, with the theme focusing on moving towards a Blue Economy and the contribution of coastal and marine resources.

The expert noted that Tanzania is blessed with many coastal and marine resources that provide opportunities to build a large and sustainable Blue Economy by integrating strategies from various sectors.

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