CAPACITY building is not a new phenomenon especially for an institution seeking to attain international standards in its operations. It’s even an inevitable ingredient for the national environmental council.
The recently signed training accord between the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) and Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a clearcut mechanism that shows that the council is committed to transform its operations by imparting new skills and knowledge to its personnel to enable them execute their duties, professionally.
NEMC acting Director General Vedast Makota praises the agreement, saying CSE will support and strengthen the regulatory capacities of employees on research, capacity building and knowledge activities.
“CSE as an independent body works on pollution mitigation and public health security, low carbon development, natural resource management and livelihood security to make growth sustainable and inclusive,” Dr Makota says.
Under the context of monitoring and compliance, CSE will assist NEMC to conduct training programmes and develop sector-specific Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) guidelines and manuals related to compliance and monitoring of industrial sectors in Tanzania.
“The centre will also provide technical assistance to NEMC in developing environmental regulations, guidelines, procedures, environmental monitoring inspections manual and standards,” NEMC boss explains.
He says CSE will host staff from NEMC on short and long-term residential courses in India, with the objective of improving the environmental inspection, monitoring and compliance of local environmental regulations.
“This cooperation programme will allow NEMC to explore relevant perspectives on industry, industrial inspection and monitoring,” Dr Makota said, noting that more emphasis will be on waste management, environment administration, EIA, environment governance, waste water management and related aspects.
He describes the agreement as a tool of boosting the morale of the council’s employees and improving workers’ performance. “We are fully committed to support and implement the Fifth Phase Government’s desire of turning Tanzania into a medium sized and industrial based economy under the captainship of President John Pombe Magufuli,” he said.
CSE Deputy Director General, Mr Chandra Bhushan says implementation of the MoU will put NEMC in a competent position to implement its duties and obligations professionally without harming socio-economic development activities.
“As part of this agreement, CSE will help NEMC with technical capacities by giving training on the use of relevant laboratory equipment in India and Tanzania to follow state-of-art laboratory procedures to enforce environmental quality standards,” Mr Bhushan said.
He said based on mutual needs, CSE and NEMC will explore additional ways to help strengthen the research capacities of staff from both sides, including joint researches, workshops, seminars and conference among other potential areas.
“We have provided several training programmes in many countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Nepal, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Namibia and Ghana,” Mr Bhushan says, noting that all of them recorded great results.
He said his centre will institute a two-year Fellowship programme for to support and facilitate the participation of NEMC nominated staff members in training programmes in India.
“Under the fellowship terms, CSE will cover the course expenses for NEMC nominated participants, including their travel to India, accommodation and hospitality during the entire training in India,” Mr Bhushan stresses.
NEMC Director of Environmental Impact Assessment Fadhila Khatibu says the agreement is a step towards enabling the council to implement its duties more professionally and inclusively.
“I have no doubt with the capacity and experience of CSE in knowledge and technological transfer in areas of science and environment,” says Dr Khatibu, stressing that the council staff and stakeholders will benefit from the training programme.
She says the council has been well prepared to with stand all challenges frustrating business and investment growth in Tanzania. “We want everyone to understand that NEMC will continue with its supervisory role yet coordinating the overall matters related to the environment,” Dr Khatibu explains.
CSE Manager Sujit Kumar Singh says the training aims at enhancing the capacity of participants by promoting investment and protecting the environment as well. “The training programme highlighted in the agreement means a lot in strengthening capacity of NEMC experts in inspection and other related activities in real estates and mining,” he says.
NEMC’s Vision is to be a world-class environmental management authority, ensuring clean, safe and healthy environment for people in Tanzania. “We (NEMC) are highly committed to promotion of environmental management through coordination, facilitation, awareness raising, enforcement, assessment, monitoring and research,” explains Dr Makota.
NEMC was established with a broad mandate in response to the national need for such an institution to oversee environmental management issues and also implement the resolutions of the Stockholm conference (1972), which called upon all nations to establish and strengthen national environmental Councils to advise governments and the international community on environmental issues.
Currently, NEMC is proud of having five coordination zones as Lake, Northern, Southern, Eastern and Southern highlands Zones.