Stakeholders urge govt to introduce climate change policy

04Nov 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Stakeholders urge govt to introduce climate change policy

CLIMATE change statistics stakeholders have suggested to the government to set up climate change policy in order to address climate change challenges.

Dr. Albina Chuwa

Speaking during a one-day validation workshop for the National Climate Change Statistics Report for the year 2019, held at National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) office here, they argued that it is high time Tanzania institute a policy on climate change which has become a global issue.

The observation is that since climate change has now become a national development challenge it was therefore high time for the country to develop national climate change policy to guide programs, strategies and actions towards addressing the impacts climate change.

The policy, they contemplated that can also attract more stakeholders and enhance collaboration with funding institutions to facilitate implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures which are hindered by lack of adequate funding.

During the meeting, participants reviewed the draft National Climate Changes Statistics Report, 2019 by assessing the quality of data used, filling gaps and deliberated on challenges impinging production of similar reports in National Statistical System.

The workshop was facilitated by German International Development Agency (GIZ), Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).

Speaking earlier when opening the workshop, Statistician General Dr. Albina Chuwa reminded the gathering  that the report among other things will be used to monitor and evaluate implementation of various national, regional and international development frameworks.

She said for instance, the National Five Year Development Plan II, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 and  Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) which Tanzania is signatory.

She added that  the report would help to create public awareness on climate change and its impacts on social and economic development.

The NBS boss explained that the report like many other statistical reports produced by NBS was a result of cooperation and collaboration among both domestic and international stakeholders which demonstrates the importance of partnership in statistics community.  

“This report is a result of collaboration from various stakeholders. It was not an easy task but we have made it. Many thanks to UNEP, GPSDD and GIZ for facilitating this workshop” said Dr. Chuwa.

She noted that, using administrative data as the main source of data in preparation of the National Climate Changes Statistics Report, 2019, it was a step further in production of official statistics using non-traditional data sources.

Dr. Chuwa acknowledged challenges facing use of administrative data in production of official statistics like that of climate change as data are scattered in various sources within public domain as well as in private sector.

“With data scattered all over, it is difficult for users to timely access them and above all makes it difficult to make long term analysis of environment situation of the country” She said.

Among stakeholders who attended the workshop were from Vice President’s office, National Carbon Monitoring Centre, Sokoine University of Agriculture, University of Dar es salaam, Prime Minister’s office, Ministry of Agriculture, Office of the Regional   Commissioner-Dar es Salaam, National Environmental Management Council (NEMC), Land Commission, Ministry of Lands and Tanzania Forest Research Institute (TAFORI).

Stakeholders also underscored the importance of establishing and strengthening mechanism that will ensure a strong administrative data sharing systems which guarantees accurate and timely availability of climate change data.

In that regard, they also proposed the government through NBS and Vice President’s office to explore the possibility of establishing climate change data hub to address data gaps and inconsistencies.

Speaking during the opening of the workshop, UNEP representative Ms. Diana Ngina from Nairobi said, UNEP was very proud of NBS because when one looks at developing countries, NBS is on forefront in terms of production of climate change statistics to fill the existing data gaps.

“Let this report be the starting point, be the one that other countries can look at and try to achieve what Tanzania has already achieved” said Diana Ngina and congratulated NBS and wished it could continue with the same motivation and produce more reports.

On her part, GPSDD representative from Nairobi Ms. Karen Bett said her institution was delighted to see Tanzania has managed to produce such quality report using administrative data.

“Having produced this excellent Report using administrative data demonstrates how importance administrative data are. Now let’s use it to inform policies and actions to improve lives of our people” Karen Bett insisted.

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