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Climate change already disrupting local livelihoods and economic growth in Tanzania-Research

by Grace Kisembo

Studies have confirmed that the impacts of climate change and variability are already disrupting local livelihoods and economic growth in Tanzania.

Climate financing constraints and a lack of capacity for mainstreaming climate change in other sectors hinder the achievement of Tanzania’s climate change objectives, something which needs special consideration,” says senior research

associate at the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)- and an expert in environment and climate change, Prof Pius Yanda.

Prof Yanda said that in Tanzania the impacts of COVID-19 have been far-reaching and affect many sectors, including health, tourism and transport–all of which are also vulnerable to climate change.

He was presenting a paper on Tanzania’s Post-COVID-19 Recovery Strategy and the nationally determined contribution (NDC) during the COVID-19 Macroeconomic Policy Responses in Africa (COMPRA) dissemination workshop that was organized by ESRF in Dodoma recently.

He further noted, “Projected climate futures forecast a precarious state of increased climate change effects and weather extremes.”

According to him, such impacts will have devastating consequences for sectors such as agriculture, water, marine and coastal ecosystems, energy, health, infrastructure and human settlements.

However, the successful implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) would foster both green recoveries from the pandemic, and the pursuit of a climate-friendly recovery to enhance the country’s resilience to climate change.

He said that COVID-19 provides Tanzania with an opportunity to pursue a green recovery path that aligns with the country’s climate objectives.

Prof Yanda noted that these constraints can be ameliorated by pursuing the following measures: Promoting innovative climate financing, ensuring improved incentives for private sector participation, leveraging complementarities in post-COVID recovery and NDC investments, using monitoring verification and reporting (MRV) feedback in sector policies, mainstreaming climate change in health through research and development.

He further noted that private financing for green projects in developing countries is difficult due to high-risk profiles and low incentives.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and CRDB Bank’s joint financing of the Tanzania Agriculture Climate Adaptation Technology Deployment Programme (TACATDP) is an innovative approach to promote climate goals in Tanzania’s green recovery efforts.

The GCF’s funding mix, including grant and concessional funding features, helps de-risk smallholder farming in the TACATDP programme’s climate financing scheme.

De-risking smallholder farming through credit guarantees and micro-insurance can unlock private financing from commercial banks for riskier ventures. The government should guarantee incentive structures and risk-transfer arrangements through PPPs.

This would leverage the effective participation of the private sector in financing the NDCs, particularly in projects with substantive ‘public goods’.

The COVID-19 recovery and NDCs’ actions should be leveraged to optimize inclusive green growth towards sustainable development. This will ensure that the limited resources available for both recovery and climate change are used effectively.

Climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and social protection should be integrated and coordinated to enhance resilience among the most vulnerable populations.

Climate change resilience and protection of the most economically vulnerable populations should be enhanced to foster resilience among the most vulnerable.

Improving public health surveillance systems and response capacities for climate-sensitive diseases is crucial to minimize the effects of climate change during health crises.

Collaboration between government and stakeholders in the climate and health sectors is essential for advancing research and development in climate change and health agenda in order to identify appropriate interventions.

Climate and environmental issues are regarded as cross-cutting matters in Tanzania’s macro and sector policies, and complementary investments in green growth are necessary for sustainable development.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an additional disruptor, reinforcing climatic risks and slowing the country’s progress in achieving its development targets.

Tanzania has taken part in global climate adaptation and mitigation efforts in pursuit of sustainable development and is a party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In Tanzania, this has re-ignited the political will to pursue a green recovery from the recognition that climate change and COVID-19 are critical barriers to attaining the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

With the emergence of the pandemic and the subsequent development of the national COVID-19 socio-economic response and recovery plan, it has become necessary to strengthen climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts by exploring and exploiting complementary investments in healthy, inclusive and resilient green growth.

In Tanzania, the COVID-19 response has provided for interventions that will also enhance the country’s resilience to climate change.

There is thus space for cultivating partnerships that can facilitate building back better from the pandemic while addressing climate change.

Exploring such opportunities and strengthening domestic, regional and global partnerships and collaboration are vital. For instance, public–private partnerships (PPPs) can be harnessed to deliver a green response.

Speaking on behalf of the ESRF Executive Director, ESRF Researcher and Economist Abel Songole said that the objectives of the workshop among others were: To share research findings on microeconomic policy development” and “Tanzania’s Post-covid-19 Recovery Strategy and alignment to nationally determined contributions (NDC) commitments.

He said the COVID-19 Macroeconomic Policy Response in Africa (CoMPRA) project was designed following a call for rapid response policy research into the COVID-19 pandemic by the International Development Research Centre [IDRC].

The project is implemented by ESRF in collaboration with South Africa Institute of International Affairs [SAIIA].

The project’s overall goal is to inform macroeconomic policy development in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and development partners those results in more inclusive, climate-resilient, effective and gender-responsive measures through evidence-based research.

This will help to mitigate COVID-19’s social and economic impact, promote recovery from the pandemic in the short term and position LMICs in the longer term for a more climate-resilient, sustainable and stable future.

Launching the Macroeconomic Policy Development in Tanzania Report and the Tanzania’s Post-COVID-19 Recovery Strategy and the NDCs report, during the dissemination workshop, an economist from the Ministry of Finance and Planning Diana Ulomi commended ESRF for the good work and tiresome job it has been rendering to the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the entire government.

The CoMPRA project focuses broadly on African countries and specifically on six countries (Benin, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa).

This project is supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Canadian federal crown corporation and part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts to invest in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve the lives of people in the developing world.

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