The build-up of Tanzania’s experience, particularly during the preparation and implementation of the National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction (NSPR) (MKUKUTA I) shows the steps, with technical and financial support of Development Partners, that were taken to integrate environment and natural resources issues were more visible at the central government level (the championing and coordinating role of the Office of the Vice President) and some of the natural resources sector Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
This document attempts to piece together this experience with a view to informing MKUKUTA II. Environment and natural resources in Tanzania provide basic inputs for the livelihoods of majority of Tanzania, employment, foreign exchange earnings and government revenue. Unsustainable extractive activities erode not only the resources wastefully but also, where there is corruption, loss of government revenue and growth potentials. Good governance requires that the resources be administered with sense of commitment to transparency and accountability when granting access rights, collecting revenue and monitoring activities (surveillance) and enforcement of applicable laws.
Mainstreaming environment into development policy has aimed to increase the visibility of the need of having all productive activities take cognisance of the consequences of such activities on environment to avert possible environmental hazards. Environmental mainstreaming entails (i) integration of the sustainability principles into a development strategy within a country and where necessary, within an international agreement, (ii) building capacities at national and local levels for sharper understanding and identification of environmental concerns and opportunities (iii) implementing performance and easy-to-monitor indicators. The interventions should be integrated actions into plans and budgets. Though not unique in the progress made, Tanzania’s experience is comparable to other countries; it shows how some of the constraints to mainstreaming at the macro-level were dealt with. Problems remain, however, relating mainly to knowledge gaps and change in mind-set on the importance of environment. Lack of accurate data, capacity limitations in terms of requisite professional skills to suit the different sector situations as well as financial resources still remain major setbacks.
II Key Findings
1. Environmental sustainability has been integrated in key plans and policies (MKUKUTA, EMA etc) difficulties related to implementation at sector and LGA levels. Why? 2. There were significant challenges in the implementation of MKUKUTA environment related targets. For instance, most sectors pursued individual sector mandates as there were limited incentives for cross-sectoral interventions (budgets allocated for sector achievements rather than cross-sectoral collaboration). In addition, due to weak coordination across sectors/MDAs and LGA there were significant overlaps in activities carried out and lost opportunities to benefit from synergies.3. Funding for environmental interventions at sector and sub-national levels was difficult to trace as there is no specific budget code for environment activities. In the agricultural sector it was found that no funds had been set aside for environmental protection or measures to monitor the status of the environment despite the heavy reliance on environment and natural resources for improved agricultural productivity and food security. Also, despite the allocation of specific funds for EMA implementation at sector level, it has been difficult to trace the use of these funds.4. Tax and non-tax revenues are probably not fully exploited. This remains a source of concern for sustainable domestic revenue collection and an area for serious consideration in the MKUKUTA II.5. Despite the potential for economic instruments to promote sustainable resource use and domestic revenue mobilization these are not consistently used. For example, there is poor revenue collection from forestry resources, fisheries and wildlife due to under-pricing and poor reporting on actual extraction and exports. 6. So far, it is not clear how much has been collected and if the collected money was allocated for environment and natural resources protection or for other government uses as a normal tax revenue.7. There are gaps in the definition and use of environmental standards and indicators for maintaining environmental quality8. Although Tanzania is a signatory to several international environmental conventions there is limited integration of these policy commitments in national policy processes. 9. Harmonisation of poverty/environment issues in key sector policies (agriculture, tourism, mining, energy, rural development) has the potential for enhanced growth and improved livelihoods. 10. There are severe capacity gaps for implementation of environment related activities at sector and sub-national levels especially at the local government level.
a. Strengthen national monitoring and accounting systems to capture the economic value of environment and natural resources to guide efficient resource allocation for growth and poverty reduction.b. Improve inter-sectoral coordination mechanisms for implementation of environment related outputs that cut across sectors and underpin the achievement of national growth objectivesc. Address the weakness related to target setting in MKUKUTA I including a large number of targets and interventions and difficulties in assigning responsibilities to specific institutions and prioritizing among targets. Specific goals and targets are proposed in d. Provide a separate budget code to track environment related expenditures e. Promote targeted public awareness and research activities on growth and environment to guide policy and decision making f. Address incidences of weak governance of natural resources that leads to loss of economic benefits for the communities and government through corruption, and unsustainable extraction of natural resources that threatens the achievement of growth objectives. g. Address capacity gaps related to environmentally sustainable planning, budgeting and monitoring, especially at sub-national levels.h. Harmonize the implementation of key sector policies (agriculture, tourism, mining, energy, rural development) for enhanced sustainability, growth and improved livelihoods.
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