With the aim of unveiling the gaps in the existing policy and the legal and institutional frameworks guiding the extractive sector’s management of environmental issues, UONGOZI Institute organised a national roundtable dialogue in Dodoma on 28th July, 2017. The dialogue was officiated by the Permanent Secretary, Vice President’s Office, Prof. Faustin Kamuzora, and attended by seventy senior leaders from both Central and Local Government, representatives from the private sector, academia and Civil Society Organizations.

During his speech, Prof. Faustin Kamuzora underlined the importance of ensuring the sustainable management of the environment for the extractive sector. “A well-managed environment sustains the economy, and a successful economy underpins the conservation of our environment,” said Prof. Kamuzora. He added, “the challenge is to ensure sustainable use of the country’s natural resources by striking a balance between utilisation and conservation.”

Prof. Kamuzora further stated that the Government of Tanzania is concerned about environmental challenges the nation is facing today, and is fully committed in finding effective and sustainable solutions. “At the policy level, environmental management is guided by the National Environmental Policy (1997). There are several other sectoral policies that include provisions to address environmental matters in relevant sectors,” he said.

According to Prof. Kamuzora, the Government of Tanzania is also a signatory of various conventions regarding environmental management, and it is in the process of finalising a guideline on “green offices” to create sustainable workspace.

On his part, the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, Prof. Joseph Semboja, emphasised the need to address existing challenges in the implementation of policies, laws and regulations on environmental management in the country. “I am positive that this event will not only enrich our understanding of this matter but also, at a certain degree, contribute to environmental management policy and planning processes,” Prof. Semboja stated.

Discussions of the roundtable were centred on the environmental costs of resource extraction, the policy and legal frameworks governing environmental management, and the institutional coordination and enforcement on environmental management in the extractive sector.

The roundtable was closed by the Commissioner for Energy and Petroleum Affairs, Eng. Innocent Luoga, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Prof. James Mdoe.

In his closing, Eng. Luoga reiterated the initiatives undertaken by the Government to better manage the environment in the context of extractives, underscoring the significance of the roundtable.

“This forum has provided a platform to share and discuss what strategies are working, as well as pointing out those that need review and strengthening, particularly in enforcement and monitoring, and therefore it should not be understated.”

Eng. Luoga concluded by calling upon stakeholders to continue informing the existing policy and frameworks in environmental management so as to ensure their effectiveness.