STATEMENT BY HON. MUSSA SIMA (MP) DEPUTY MINISTER OF STATE – VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFIE (UNION AND ENVIRONMENT), UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA AT THE
FOURTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT ASSEMBLY (UNEA-4), 11-15 MARCH, 2019, NAIROBI, KENYA
Ladies and Gentlemen
Allow me to convey greetings form H.E Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and warmly congratulate you, Mr. President, and your Bureau for having been elected to preside over this important meeting. It is our hope and conviction that under your able leadership, this Assembly will achieve a successful outcome. I also wish to express condolences to the families of the victims of the Ethiopian airline crash and extend sincere gratitude to the Government of Kenya for graciously hosting the Fourth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly. My delegation and I, appreciate the generous hospitality accorded to us by the Government and people of Kenya since our arrival.
Majority of the population in Tanzania depend on natural resources which include fertile soils, clean water, biomass and biodiversity. These contribute to the production of a range of goods and services that contribute to income, employment, maintenance of public health and support to economic growth in general. One of the major concerns about production or consumption activities is the environmental impact caused through resource use. Inadequate management of natural resources has contributed to environmental challenges facing the country which include climate change, land degradation, environmental pollution and deforestation. Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, including inefficient use of resources, contribute significantly to these challenges and threaten the process of achieving sustainable development.
Fundamental changes in production and consumption patterns are necessary for achieving sustainable development. Therefore, we need to focus on ways to provide goods and services using fewer resources and preventing emissions and waste for the benefit of the current and future generations..
The theme of this Session, “Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production”, should remind us to reflect on the need to enhance integrating Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) into relevant policies, plans, programmes and projects at all levels. As such, the task of mainstreaming SCP should be at the forefront of development planning and policy formulation with the vision to reduce environmental pressures of resource use, pollutants and greenhouse gases.
In Tanzania, the National Environmental Policy (1997) and the Environmental Management Act of 2004 have specific provisions promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production in the country. On one hand, the National Environmental Policy advocates for putting in place resource saving and waste recycling facilities, use of clean technologies and production of safe and less toxic products while on the other hand, the Environmental Management Act provides for cleaner production technologies and techniques as well as sustainable consumption of goods and services.
National Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production was formulated in 2007. The overall objective of the National Programe is to strengthen the institutional capacity for the development and implementation of sustainable consumption and production programmes in the country. Specifically, the Programme aims to promote better understanding of the key issues related sustainable production and consumption; identify priority areas that need to be addressed at national level; provide a framework for the development and implementation of specific activities. It focuses on five thematic areas which include energy; water and sanitation; habitat and sustainable urban development; industrial development; and education for sustainable consumption which is rather a cross-cutting area. The Programme offers an improved framework to further our efforts in internalizing the SCP initiative into priority economic sectors and also in our daily life as individuals.
Against the backdrop of the current economic situation particularly in developing countries, the synchronization of Sustainable Consumption and Production and economic development strategies is an important approach. It is critical to devise, adopt and use new approaches to address environmental challenges in view of the many drivers and pressures contributing to worsening state of the environment. This needs to happen even in a situation of continued economic growth for the developing countries still struggling with persistent poverty and underdevelopment.
Innovation, in its broad scope, is increasingly perceived as crucial for tackling environmental challenges and addressing existing unsustainable consumption and production patterns. Therefore, there is a growing need to increase support to Developing Countries to enhance efforts to implement policies, strategies and programmes promoting innovative solutions. In this regard, this Session offers a viable platform to promote and share experiences and solutions in our ambition towards sustainable development. It is time for innovative environmental thinking towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. LET US PLAY OUR PART.
I THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.