In-depth- Environment & Energy

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The livelihood of Tanzania’s fast growing population of 44 million is highly dependent on the environment and natural resources. Unsustainable harvesting of natural resources, unchecked cultivation, degradation of and encroachment of water sources coupled with global climate change pose challenges for achieving and sustaining the MDGs for environment.

Climate change effects are increasingly evident: flooding, droughts and environmental degradation are more severe; contributing to changing of (or shifting of) cropping patterns whilst rising sea levels are having detrimental consequences in coastal cities and communities.

The overall focus of UNDP is to ensure environmental sustainability through supporting MDAs and LGAs to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation in their strategies and plans.

In climate Change, UNDP is supporting Government in finalizing a National Climate Change response strategy and initiating the development of the Tanzania National Adaptation Plan. UNDP has also initiated a number of projects to address climate change including:

  • Supporting Government (both mainland and Zanzibar) in mainstreaming climate change into national development plans and strengthening capacity for climate change governance
  • Supporting Government in the development of the national climate change financing mechanism.

Sustainable Land & Forest Management

Sustainable land

Under Sustainable Land and forest management UNDP Support the development of a national strategic Investment framework for mainstreaming Sustainable Land Management and environmental conservation into national economic growth goals.

In Forest UNDP Assist government to improve the conservation of Coastal Forests in mainland Tanzania through the strengthening of national institutions

Other UNDP initiatives under sustainable land and forest management entails support in capacity development for improved enforcement of laws on the environment and of regulations protecting ecosystems, as well as for sustainable management of natural resources,  awareness-raising related to the Environmental Management Act, facilitating formulation of environmental plans and strategies at the local government level, as well as strengthening technical, financial and governance capacities for sustainable land and forest management.

Energy Resources

The energy sector has quite significant impact on the performance of the economy as a whole. ButTanzania has serious energy problems despite the fact that it is endowed with diverse energy resources including biomass, natural gas, hydro, coal, geothermal, solar, wind and uranium, much of which is untapped. Wood-fuel accounts for up to 90% of total national energy consumption, with about 2% from electricity and 8% from petroleum products. Solar, coal, wind and other renewable energy sources account for only 0.5% of total energy consumption.

 In energy resources, UNDP is supporting Government in Promoting implementation of low-carbon and efficient energy Strategies, including the utilization of Renewable Energy technologies in rural areas;

UNDP is also Supporting Government to develop the model for scaling up Renewable Energy technologies in rural communities;

In addition UNDP is also facilitating a process for developing an ambitious programme (2013-2015) for scaling-up the adoption of renewable energy technologies in Tanzania, including solar, biogas, mini-hydro, geothermal energy etc.

The UN-led Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All) is a major opportunity for Tanzania to receive further support from development partners for improving the energy sector. UNDP is already playing a key coordination and technical assistance role around the three goals of the SE4ALL, namely, energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Early opportunities include the reform of the Tanzanian energy sector, scaling-up of renewable energy for rural areas and the review of the Tanzania 2003 energy policy


WaterCompleted rain water harvesting tank supported by UNDP through small grants project in Kilindi District, Tanga Region

Water access and availability are key factors in determining the wellbeing of local populations, their livelihoods and the surrounding environment. In addition, water supply and sanitation is one of the most critical areas in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDG No. 7 target 10 aims at halving by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. To this end, UNDP perceives water to be both, a key target and critical factor for the success of all other MDGs.

UNDP supports water initiatives through its projects namely the Small Grants Programme (SGP); African Adaptation Programme (AAP) and some UNDP/GEF projects. Types of projects include: Rainwater harvesting; Gravity supply systems; wind and solar powered schemes. Water Governance is a key element in all UNDP supported water initiatives