Published: APRIL 22, 2022

We urgently need climate action. The latest IPCC report (AR6) alarmed that Tanzania is highly vulnerable to climate impacts. We need national and regional collaboration, strategies and planning to fast-track climate actions in Tanzania. Therefore smart national policies need to guide and coordinate climate actions. The recently updated National Environmental Policy 2021 holds the potential to catalyse mitigation and  adaptation of climate change challenges.

In the following we explain and analyse the NEP 2021. We show how to use NEP 2021 to kick-start transformation processes to a climate-just and sustainable future.

 The updated National Environmental Policy is the major guiding document that will shape and determine Tanzanian environmental policies across all sectors. It can be key for resource mobilization, policy work and implementation around climate change challenges and related environmental challenges.

The new National Environment Policy (NEP) 2021 analyses environmental challenges. Based on the identified challenges, the NEP 2021 formulates policy issues and defines objectives for the challenges. To mainstream, NEP into sectoral policies  it provides policy statements as guiding principles and lists stakeholders that should be involved in the implementation and ensuring monitoring and reporting.  It opens opportunities for the public and private sector in specific CSOs and Development Partners to engage and use the NEP 2021 to leverage climate action in the country.

Recommendation for Policymakers: unlock the potential of NEP to fast-track climate action

To unfold its full potential   a climate-action centred implementation plan and strategy should be co-designed rooted in a participatory stakeholder process. The focus of the participatory and inclusive stakeholder process should be on the following main building blocks:

· Sub-Objectives, Indicators and Activities

· Participatory and inclusive assessment of resources and drafting of a resource mobilization plan

· Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) for stakeholder process and action plan Co-design and co-production

The process should be guided by the principles for co-design and co-production. We argue for an inclusive, collaborative and flexible process that is transparent. Vulnerable groups (women, youth, indigenous, smallholder) should be involved and represented.

In comparison to the previous policy (NEP 1997), the NEP 2021 highlighted a new environmental challenges that  has yet to be recognized and adequately mainstreamed into Tanzanian policies. Climate change, waste management (oil and gas, chemical management, E-waste), and the safe application of modern biotechnology (Genetically Modified Organisms: GMO) are the new problems that have been added to the NEP 2021 framework. The NEP 2021 also cites three cross-cutting issues that must be addressed to meet the listed challenges: good governance, resource mobilization, and gender.

Many of the identified environmental challenges, as well as the cross-cutting issues, relate to Climate Change and the mitigation and adaptation challenge Tanzania is facing.

Learn more in our policy communication: