Tuesday, September 30, 2014

IITA-led Policy Action on Climate Change project launched in Tanzania

Ms Madete, Deputy PS, Vice-President's Office at the launch 
The four-year project, Policy Action for Climate Change Adaptation (PACCA),  led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change,Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)  was recently launched in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

Dr Yamungu, Agric ministry deputy PS welcomed the initiative 
The project which seeks to enhance the capacity of the Tanzania Government to develop and implement policies on climate change adaptation in relation to food security is being implemented in both Kenya and Tanzania. In Tanzania the lead partner is the Environmental Management Unit (EMU) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives.

The project was officially launched by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Vice President’s Office  Ms Angelina E.A. Madete at a stakeholders’ meeting that brought together different actors working in the area of climate change adaptation from the government, NGOs, and international and national research institutes.

Dr Ampaire giving an overview of the PACCA project
Ms Madete noted that the impact and vulnerabilities of climate change were undermining national and local strategies to achieve sustainable development. She observed that the country was particularly vulnerable to climate change due to its dependence on climate sensitive economic sectors such as agriculture and commended the project for tackling this global challenge that demands concrete mitigation and adaptation measures.

“We are all aware of the dangers climate change poses to our country. We have all witnessed heavy rains and floods; prolonged and severe droughts, and landslides. We need to develop and implement integrated strategies expeditiously in the country,” she said.

The project was also welcomed by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives,  Dr Yamungu Kayandabila, who officiated the closing ceremony of the workshop. He assured all the project partners of the full support of his ministry to tackle climate change and food security issues in the country. 

The project coordinator, Dr Edida Ampaire from IITA Uganda, said the project seeks to strengthen the cooperation between the scientific community and policy actors in formulating policies on climate change.

A cross section of the participants at the event
“The aim of the project is to understand the policy making and implementation processes in the area of climate change and food security in Tanzania and Uganda, identify any gaps, and suggest ways to overcome them. It will also identify appropriate mechanisms to facilitate generation and sharing of knowledge among the different actors working in the area of climate change within and between the two countries,” she said.

During the workshop, the participants identified some of the gaps and areas that the project should address to strengthen climate change policies in Tanzania. Top of the list was the lack of a comprehensive policy on climate change in the country. Currently, issues on climate change are handled under the environmental policy of 2004 under the Vice President’s Office and in the Environmental Management Unit (EMU of the Agriculture Ministry.

Participants at the PACCA-Tanzania chapter launch
Other challenges identified were a general lack of adequate coordination of the different actors working on climate change and food security issues, lack of sharing of knowledge and information, and a general low level of awareness of the importance of climate change across various sectors from the policy makers to the general public. Another gap was linked to inadequate human and financial resources put aside for climate change. The participants also identified the root causes of these problems and made recommendations for further action.