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Norwegian MPs on five-day visit of Tanzania

23rd September 2011
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Norwegian Parliament

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Norwegian Parliament is visiting Tanzania. The tour, which began on September 20, this year, is expected to end tomorrow.

According to a statement issued by the  Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam recently, the visiting lawmakers would discuss how Norway could become a better partner in promoting economic growth and development of Tanzania in a way that avoids further pressure on the environment, as well as in supporting efforts to deal with climatic changes.

“Tanzania is already experiencing visible effects of climate change such as prolonged drought, desertification, flooding and changing rainfall pattern which is affecting farming and pastoral activities,” read the statement in part.

It said the country's future economic growth and development depended on finding a way to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

“I am very pleased to welcome the MPs to Tanzania. Climate change threatens future economic growth and development. Norway can be a partner in finding solutions, including access to sustainable energy sources, combating deforestation and improving sustainable agriculture,” said Ambassador Ingunn Klepsvik.

The envoy said Tanzania's carbon dioxide emissions were estimated at 100 million tonnes every year.

“Deforestation is the largest contributing factor to this. Norway has agreed to supports efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in Tanzania with USD 100 million over five years. The programme recognises services provided by living forests,” she said, adding:

“Such services are at global level emission reductions and at local level improved water resources management and livelihood for communities.”

The Norwegian legislators would among others meet villagers from Kolo Hills in Kondoa district who benefit from the programme.

In addition to official meetings in Dar es Salaam, the seven Norwegian parliamentarians would visit the power plant at Kihansi (which was built with support from Norway and other partners), forest plantations in Mufindi and spend one day in Arusha National Park.

“The group of seven parliamentarians has members from four different Norwegian political parties. They are all members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence. Three of the parliamentarians represent the coalition government in Norway, while four come from the opposition parties. The visit to Tanzania is part of a mission to Ghana and Tanzania,” said the embassy statement.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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