Adopt green technology to avert climate change, experts suggest

11Jun 2021
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Adopt green technology to avert climate change, experts suggest

​​​​​​​ENVIRONMENTAL experts have suggested the need for Tanzanian communities to adopt green technology in different sectors—transportation, energy, building, agriculture, and land use planning to address the impacts of climate change, which happens to increase levels-

Principal of College of Forestry, Wildlife and Tourism Prof Suzana Augustino speaks at one-day climate change and carbon trading workshop.

-of Green House Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.

They made the suggestion recently when speaking in Morogoro Region at the one-day workshop that brought on board journalists from different media outlets.

Organised by the National Carbon Monitoring Center (NCMC) of Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and was meant to make scribes understand activities carried out by NCMC, introducing them to climate change and carbon trading-related issues.

Their suggestions come at a time when the impacts of climate change are already evident in almost all sectors of the country’s economy.

According to Deo Shirima, a senior lecturer from SUA, climate change projection indicates that the frequency and severity of extreme climatic events will increase.

“Seventy percent of all-natural disasters in Tanzania are hydro-meteorological, and are linked to droughts and floods,” Shirima said.

In the last 40 years, Tanzania has experienced severe and recurring droughts and floods with devastating effects on almost all sectors of the economy.

Due to the impacts of climate change in the country, the agriculture sector experienced unreliable rainfall and frequent droughts over the years have resulted in massive crop failures and low production in agriculture. Severe floods caused by unpredictable and heavy rainstorms have caused damage to crops, property, and Agricultural infrastructure, according to Shirima.

He noted that the livestock sector also faces droughts over the years that have resulted in a lack of pasture and the prevalence of vector-borne diseases. “This has affected the energy sector as well. Due to climate change and variability, all major hydropower dams dropped below their lowest water levels resulting in long hours of power blackouts,” the don revealed.

“Forestry and wildlife sectors are among areas affected in different ways. There are tree species which have been impacted differently depending on their distribution and ecological preferences with species that have limited geographical range and are drought and heat intolerant.”

It is estimated that the country will have its GDP reduced by UD$6.67billion (9.0 trillion/-) between 2009 and 2060, an annual loss of about $ 0.13 billion (180billion/-) due to climate change impacts.

Shirima said that the value of loss of agricultural GDP from the impacts of climate change over the coming 50 years is estimated at about US$27billion, which is an annual average of about US$ 540 million. The value of losses due to a decrease in maize production alone would amount to US$3,158.1 million in 50 years or an annual loss of US$ 63.2 million.

“The human-induced drivers of climate change are land-use changes from forest to agriculture, extensive use of inorganic fertilizer, animal husbandry, paddy rice cultivation, transportation and conversion of wetlands to other land uses,” he explained.

Therefore, he said: “In order to address the impacts of climate change, the experts have called on the adoption of green technology—green transportation, clean energy, green building, climate-smart agriculture, and land use planning.”

Green transportation is that kind of transportation system which does not affect the environment negatively. It is not only low carbon and environmental traveling mode, but also a return to a healthy and leisure lifestyle.

He said that such kind of transportation is very important in today’s scenario where the environment is depleting with every passing day and dependence on gas and petrol is increasing day by day, thus posing a threat to earth.

Also, green buildings are proposed because are constructions that cause a negligible impact on the natural environment of the project site.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these are structures built using processes that are resource-efficient and environmentally responsible.

According to FAO, another way of addressing impacts of climate change is the adoption of climate-Smart Agriculture, this is agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience—adaptation, reduces or removes GHGs (mitigation), and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals.

Prof. Suzana Augustino, Principal of College of Forestry, Wildlife and Tourism stated: “Considering Tanzania is a member state of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established in 1992, the convention calls on member states to reduce Green House Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere that are the cause of climate change.”

Prof Suzana said that there are national and international efforts to address climate change." One of these initiatives is carbon trading".

Commenting on carbon trading, NCMC acting director Prof. Eliakimu Zahabu said carbon trade involves the sale of carbon credits.

Prof. Zahabu said: “There are two main types of Carbon Trading Schemes that are operating globally to date—voluntary Carbon Trading (VCT), the official UNFCCC Carbon Trading Mechanisms. Under the VCT—individuals, companies, or governments can purchase carbon offsets to compensate for the emissions caused by their activities.”

He noted that forest carbon trading is possible through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol of the UNFCCC where afforestation and reforestation activities are permitted.

It was revealed that despite having a large forest area, Tanzania did not get CDM projects for planting trees under the Kyoto Protocol due to lack of expertise and technology.

However, through the Paris Agreement of December 2015, the conservation of natural forests has been officially recognized by UNFCCC member states to be a new policy to address climate change. The policy is termed 'Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, the role of Conservation, Sustainable Management of Forest and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stock (REDD+).'

Therefore, Tanzania has the opportunity to benefit from the implementation of REDD+ and other emerging policies.

The Tanzanian government started the implementation of the project on “establishment of the National Carbon Monitoring Centre of Tanzania” on 1st January 2016 following support of about US$ 4.2 million from the government of the Kingdom of Norway.

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