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Friday, December 3, 2021

Tanzania: COP26 Summit

ENVIRONMENTALISTS and analysts have commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s call on developing countries to ramp up climate finance for mitigation and adaptation actions.

They are of the view that timely issuance of the fund as per President Samia’s plea will help to reduce effects that climate change has on the economy as well as enabling developing countries to manage global warming.

The experts were speaking to the ‘Daily News’ in response to President Samia’s keynote speech delivered during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday.

President Samia told the summit that it was high time for the developed countries to unlock climate change financing to the developing countries including Tanzania.

According to her, 30 per cent of Growth Domestic Product (GDP) of most of the low income countries comes from agriculture, forestry and fisheries but she said there are no clear strategies to sustain the three sectors Samia’s speech, a University of Dodoma Lecturer Dr Meserecordias Lema, said the funding will boost the country’s capacity on addressing climate change through improvement in agriculture, forest and fishing sectors.

Since forests are a good source of rain and also help to reduce carbon and in turn, control climate change, the expert suggested that the fund be spent on protecting the available natural vegetation.

“The fund to be secured will help in protecting the available forests from human activities resulting in deforestation in search for charcoal, firewood as well as farming areas,” he urged.

There is also a need to intensify tree plantation and reforestation programmes across the country, according to Dr Lema. He seconded President Samia’s assertions that Tanzania’s reforestation rate increased from 25 to 27 per cent in 2020, with every year planting an average of 276 million trees.

“Climate change funding will also help in modernising the agriculture sector through proper guidance that will enable farmers to adopt scientific ways, instead of the traditional ways that involve burning of a farming land,” noted Dr Lema.

Regarding the fishing sector, Dr Lema said the fund should be channeled to curb harmful methods of farming for future potential of the industry and controlling climate change.

ACentre for Foreign Relations (CFR) lecturer Innocent Shoo shared similar views, saying President Samia has made the right call at the right time and place.

Mr Shoo pointed out that Africa is exceptionally vulnerable to climate variability and change compared with many other regions.

“Almost half of the population in sub-Saharan Africa live below the poverty line and depend on weather-sensitive activities, such as rain-fed agriculture, herding and fishing for their livelihoods,” he said.

For its part, the Environmental Action Team (LEAT) commended President Samia for her deliberate efforts to address the world in the climate change situation in Tanzania.

LEAT’s Senior Programme Officer Mr Franklin Masika said President Samia’s initiative will enable the country to secure funds to be spent on tackling climate change.

“It is good that we are going to secure funds for the matter, but we should also consider the fact that most of the developed countries play a big role in climate change that affects the world at large,” he noted.

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