The National Dialogue on the Place of Environment and Natural Resources in the New Constitution of Tanzania

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19/01/2012 - 8:00am
19/01/2012 - 2:00pm

Tanzania is about to undergo an historic constitutional reform, a process that gained significant momentum in the aftermath of the 2010 general elections. The ongoing constitutional reform process has for a large extent considered issues of reducing presidential powers, the need to overhaul the National Electoral Commission, the issue of the need for independent candidates, and free and fair elections. Very little concern, however, has been expressed with regards to  inclusion of environmental and natural resources issues in the constitution. As we may all know, these are fundamental for the wellbeing of Tanzanians and the global community at large.

To this end, a national dialogue is necessary to ensure that local and international environmental and natural resource stakeholders air their views to inform the constitutional reform process. Without this, the ongoing constitutional reform process is likely to feature more on issues of political concern.  

Hence, the Department of Geography at the University of Dar es Salaam is organizing this workshop to initiate a dialogue on the place of the environment and natural resources in the new constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. Other major partners include Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT); Policy Forum; Jukwaa la Katiba; and Tanzania Natural Resources Forum (TNRF).

Three papers will be presented to initiate the discussion, which want to make a contribution to the Constitutional reform process in Tanzania. The specific purpose of the papers is to argue a case for inclusion in the Constitution of clear provisions which spell out how the environment and natural resources are to be managed for sustainable development. The papers argue that it is the people and the government who should be in charge and control of environment and natural resources. The government can only exercise authority under mandate given by the people. The people should not be sidelined or marginalized by the state/government in the management of the environment and natural resources.

The participants of this workshop come from government institutions, non-government organizations, civil society, academic institutions and the general public.

For more information, contact: Alex Ruchyahinduru - policy2@policyforum.or.tz