Water Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa said the protocol will contribute towards sustainable development and regional integration of SADC, ensure economic growth as well as poverty reduction.
“The main objective of the ratified protocol is to improve the welfare of citizens within SADC and ensure sustainability of natural resources and environment conservations” said Prof Mbarawa.
He insisted that concerted efforts are required to address the trans-boundary impacts and challenges of climate change, widespread desertification, drought and loss of biodiversity.
The minister asserted that ratification of the protocol was crucial to control declining water resources, air pollution, deforestation, waste disposal and the spread of invasive alien organisms.
The SADC protocol on environmental management for sustainable development was signed by member states on August 18, 2014 in Gaborone, Botswana.
Tanzania’s decision to ratify the protocol increases the number of countries that had ratified the guidelines to three inducing Tanzania, Eswatini, Namibia and South Africa.
In their opinion, industries, trade and environment committee said ratification of the protocol will enable Tanzania to collaborate with SADC member countries in fighting against the negative impacts of climate change.
According to the committee, Tanzania shares a number of its resources with various countries. The resources include the Indian Ocean, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Nyasa, Zambezi river, river Ruvuma, River Save/Sabi, River Congo, Limpopo and Orange. Others are the Kalahari Desert and part of Congo forest.
Presenting opposition opinions, Special Seats MP, Latifa Chande urged the government to put more emphasis on environment conservation activities as well as including the matter in the nation’s five-year development plan 2016/17 – 2020/21.
Chande suggested for the government to allocate at least 1 per cent of its GDP for science, technology and research activities which would help in the fight against climate change.
She added there should be a system to share information on climate change and make sure Tanzanians at all levels are well educated on the impacts of environmental destruction.
Ileje MP, Janeth Mbene said: “Ratification of the protocol adds to government efforts in protecting the health of Tanzanians since emissions of greenhouse gases pose a number of health risks”.
The Parliament also ratified the Kigali Amendment on Phasing Down Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) of the Montreal Protocol on ozone depleting substances) and the Protocol amending the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO)