Climate change has become one of the defining forces shaping prospects for development in the 21st Century. Tanzania is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol on Climate which entered into force 16 February 2005 and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was ratified by Ghana’s Parliament on 26 November 2002. Although Ghana has committed itself to meeting its obligations under the Convention and the Protocol for achieving stabilization of greenhouse gas emission, and climate change will continue to have huge and lasting impacts on its ecosystems and productivity, its climate change responses are very limited. The cost of taking preventive action now is much lower than paying the price later. The Kyoto Protocol provide avenues under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which holds great potential to promote technology development and transfer and can assist Ghana in attracting foreign direct investment in the energy, transport, waste management, industry, land usage and management, and forestry sectors where there are clear potential to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The formal and informal sectors of Tanzania’s economy are strongly based on natural resources: agriculture, pastoralism, logging, road construction, eco-tourism, mining amongst others. Climatic variations that alter the viability of these activities, for better or for worse, have very high leverage on the economy. Population and development pressures continue to worsen the exploitation of Tanzania’s land-cover. These pressures coupled with climate change will negatively impact on the ecosystems will affect the distribution and productivity of plant and animal species, water supply, fuel-wood, among others. Climate change will however impact greatly on women and children who constitute the majority of the poor and depend mostly on natural resources for their livelihoods (like agriculture) that are susceptible to climate change. Natural resources productivity and biodiversity may even be irreversibly lost due to climate change.
Substantive portions of government of Tanzania under President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli investment go into provision of basic infrastructure for development such as roads, bridges, railways, dams, housing. The impact of climate change on these infrastructure particularly roads, bridges, historical buildings serving as tourist sites/attractions due to exposure to damaging flooding, deep potholes, erosion, excessive heat and other extreme events are very devastating. The exacerbation of desertification by changes in rainfall and intensified land use poses a serious threat to land resources.
Climate change is a challenge that needs to be addressed now to reduce the risk it poses to the youth of today and generations unborn. Unfortunately Tanzania as a country is not doing much to halt the continuous effects of climate change. Most adult Tanzanians are preoccupied with day to day issues. The current generation of this country stands directly in harm’s way and they have the least resources to cope. This has compelled many young people to be primarily concerned with, even overwhelmed by, their education, health, future employment and financial situations which look very blurred.
Our Foundation therefore through this project, ‘OUR ENVIRONMENT, OUR HEALTH” seeks to develop a youth-focused Public Education and Outreach (PEO) strategy on climate change. The strategy seeks to provide young Tanzanians understanding in the issues and support them with the knowledge, stimulus, and, most importantly, the opportunity to work together towards emissions reductions. The strategy will be piloted in the Dar es Salaam Region within 2019 and 2030 outcomes replicated in other regions of the country in three (3) phases within a period of ten (10) years (2019 – 2030).