Environment enthusiasts discuss the place of environment in Tanzania’s Constitution

 IUCN hosted the second meeting, for the year 2011, of the Informal Discussion Group on Environment (IDGE) in Tanzania on May 10, 2011. The meeting discussed the place of environment in the constitution of Tanzania in order to inform the Constitution review process currently underway.

Saddlebill stork by the springs in Ngorongoro, Tanzania

 The meeting which was facilitated by speakers from Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) and Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT) was attended by individuals from both government and civil society institutions.

The discussion was motivated by the general feeling within IDGE that the current constitution does not give adequate space for environmental or natural resources management. Furthermore, none of the various national forums that have initiated discussions on the constitutional review process have discussed the place of environment in the constitution.

The meeting decided that the issue of mainstreaming environment in the national constitution should be taken to a wider group of stakeholders to solicit further input into the matter. A representative from Attorney General’s chamber said that they look forward for inputs from various stakeholders and will surely entertain inputs from environmental stakeholders.

Among the institutions that have taken responsibility of taking this further are Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF) who will work in collaboration with LHRC and LEAT to develop a national environment stakeholder’s consultation programme.

The University of Dar es Salaam will hold public discussion on Environment and the Constitution through the Association of Geography and Environmental Management (AGEM) of the University. LHRC will present the subject in the forthcoming meeting of Tanzania Centre for Democracy. A journalist from Zanzibar promised to take this discussion to the public lectures of the State University of Zanzibar.

The IDGE is an informal forum that brings together various individuals interested in environmental conservation and management in Tanzania. The IDGE discusses various topical environmental issues and encourage members to take further actions in engaging in various process and discourses.

For more information, please contact Abdalla Said Shah, Head of IUCN Tanzania Office: Abdalla.shah@iucn .org

East and Southern Africa
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