Developing Countries have been urged to observe deteriorating world environmental standards by minimising the undesired effect resulting from human activities.
The Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, made the remarks recently when opening a three-day workshop on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and ISO/TC207/Chair Advisory Group (CAG) meeting in Arusha.
A statement issued by Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS) quoted Dr Kigoda as saying that for developing countries, environmental standards pose daunting challenges especially when they seek to export products to international markets, adding that the issue of standards comes in as a strong competitive tool.
“Developing countries’ economies are dominated by SMEs which have to grapple with a whole range of rules and regulations for the export market in order to succeed and they have to compete equally with foreign products in which again the issue of standards is vital,” he insisted.
The minister further said the issue of standards, both their formulation and implementation is always important since at the end it touches every single person on earth be it in the developed or developing countries.
He said Tanzania like many other countries in Eastern and Southern Africa is also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which considers international standards as a fair criteria for trade facilitation and for this reason countries should strive to comply with international standards.
For his part TBS acting Director General Leandri Kinabo said a workshop on LCA is a testimony of stakeholders’ commitment and support on the initiative to promote environmental standardisation activities worldwide.
He said the workshop on LCA and the ISO/TC 207 CAG meeting will be a milestone towards sustainable development in the region as well as at the global scale.
LCA is a technique of assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of product life, from resource extraction to disposal phase. It is one of the subcommittees under the ISO/TC 207 which deals with environment management matters.
TBS in collaboration with International Organisation for Standardisation through ISO/DEVCO organised the workshop which drew participants from Malawi, Botswana, Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, Eritrea, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Burundi, Seychelles, Swaziland, Uganda and the host Tanzania.
The CAG meeting which encompasses all leaders of the different subcommittees was established by Technical Committee (TC) 207 of ISO in 1993. It identifies issues, holds preliminary discussions on how to address them, and makes recommendations through the chair of ISO/ TC 207.
The scope of committee is to promote standardisation in the field of environmental management standards and tools in support of sustainable development.