Climate change is arguably the most important emerging issue for the world. It is predicted that climate change has potential for devastating impacts in Tanzania, undoing achievements in development for rural and urban populations, and effecting climate and related impacts on the environment and society. Without proper and people-centered attention, the impact on the country will be profound and increasingly negative over time; already people are migrating and society is changing in pockets across the country. Yet in Tanzania today, there is limited awareness of what climate change is and what should be done, and who is responsible for doing it; people have always struggled with unpredictable weather patterns in their livelihood strategies and economic activities and the realities of climate change are difficult to grasp without appropriate efforts at raising awareness. Likewise the authorities that should be tackling climate change are poorly informed and have few strategies or resources for action. Relevant authorities have made little investments in building knowledge about climate change or integrating climate change into policies, laws etc. Many existing policies may exacerbate climate change impacts, but this is not being analysed. And tellingly, the government has not yet prioritized making effective preparations to access the funds available to support adaptation and mitigation measures for the citizens.
Through TNRF’s approach of collaboration with our members and partners, we hope to increase understanding and awareness of climate change in Tanzania. Through strategic and informed collaboration, TNRF seeks opportunities to increase the political space for advocacy, helping Tanzanian citizens to be better prepared for climate change. TNRF, with its expanding membership and increasing reach, as well as its increasing expertise in communications, mainstreams climate change across all areas of our work.
Communicating Climate Change
Climate change is an urgent challenge to Tanzanians, projected to affect many ecosystems and communities in a range of different and often harmful ways. The governance of natural resources will have a significant impact on how climate change plays out in different settings. TNRF will communicate about climate change across all areas and initiatives, reaching its membership as well as the broader public. This strategy will work through improved lateral and horizontal accountability amongst different actors in Tanzania to increase citizen’s capacity to adapt to change.
Through TNRF’s approach of collaboration with our members and partners, we hope to increase understanding and awareness of climate change in Tanznia. Through strategic informed collaboration, TNRF seeks opportunities to increase the political space for advocacy, helping Tanzanian citizens to be better prepared for climate change. TNRF, with its expanding membership and increasing reach, as well as its increasing expertise in communications, mainstreams climate change across all areas of our work – land, CBNRM and multi-stakeholder dialogues.
2011 CC Hearings
In 2011, TNRF and the Tanzanian Civil Society Forum for Climate Change (known as ForumCC) hosted the Climate Change Hearings II: Have you Heard Us? This event provided a space for Tanzanian citizens to share their experiences with and concerns about a changing climate and how it is, and will continue to, impact their daily lives. Citizens from around the country—Arusha, Shinyanga, Kigoma, Zanzibar and Dar—spoke about governance issues, environmental challenges, but also about success stories with mitigation and adaptation efforts. A panel of experts listened to the stories and provided their reactions and recommendations for moving forward. The panelists consisted of representatives from civil society, development partners, as well as government officials, including Dr. Ningu, Director of Environment from the Vice President’s Office. The event was held just 10 days before the start of COP 17 in Durban, and served as an important platform where the stories and messages shared at the Hearings could be heard by a broader public and by key decision makers.
“Climate Change and Policy in Tanzania – Is it Needed?”
In November 2011, TNRF and ForumCC published the information brief, "Climate Change Policy in Tanzania – Is It Needed?" The brief explores the climate change policies and strategies in Tanzania (or the lack thereof). Specifically, it looks at the impact that climate change is and will continue to have on development efforts in Tanzania, and it offers recommendations to ensure that development efforts are not undermined by climate change.
Read the brief here.
Tracking Tanzania at COP 16, 17 & 18
Representatives from TNRF attended COP 16, 17 and 18, and at both events, ensured that relevant information about the negotiations were being shared back at home in Tanzania. This blog, “Tracking Tanzania at COP” aims to bring the negotiations closer to home, cutting through some of the jargon and confusion as well and making the COP relevant to Tanzanians.
The World Has Malaria
Working with community members in Simanjiro, Tanzania, TNRF, UCRT and Resource Africa UK teamed up to produce a film about climate change in Tanzania. By using interviews, drama scenes and animation the film showcases climate change experiences by communities in northern Tanzania, aims to explain the causes of climate change, and presents some adaptation options and future strategies.
The Maasai were intrigued to realize that the climatic changes they are experiencing are not caused by God, but rather by humans polluting the atmosphere. This is one of the messages that comes across in the community-led documentary-drama "The world has malaria." Watch the video here.
Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Land Use Planning in TZ Drylands
Starting in December 2011, TNRF began the implementation of a 1-year project to build the capacity of local actors in the Districts of Longido, Monduli and Ngorongoro to design a long term action-research program that will test approaches and mechanisms to mainstream climate change adaptation into their development planning. This preparatory phase, funded by UKAID-DFID, is being implemented in partnership with the local government authorities of the three districts, relevant national institutions, customary leaders and civil society with technical support from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Achieving climate adaptation in the drylands of northern Tanzania requires that local government adopt a different approach to planning. Different approaches need to be designed and tested that build on the strengths and weaknesses of the existing planning process as well as the strategies used by communities to accommodate climate variability and unpredictability. In order to learn from past experience and guide the implementation of activities during the preparatory phase, each district has established a “climate change adaptation learning group”. This group is composed of representatives from each of the major stakeholders in the district – the District Commissioner, councillors, Member of Parliament, local government technical officers, local civil society and NGOs. The role of the learning groups is to advise on project research and training activities and discuss the implications of the findings from these activities for the design of the longer-term action-research project.
Main Project Objectives:
- To strengthen the technical capacities of district-level authorities and civil society actors in the districts of Monduli, Ngorongoro and Longido to design and implement the proposed project, and ensure their ‘ownership’ of the process;
- To secure national level interest in the proposed work including the identification of mechanisms to ensure that project experience informs national policy processes and programs in support of climate change adaptation and mitigation.