TANZANIA TO HOST CONTINENTAL ENVIRONMENT MEETING
The 14th Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment will take place in Arusha between the 10th and 14th of September and will according to information at hand be officially opened by President Kikwete.
It is expected that a range of topics discussed at the Rio+20 Conference a few weeks ago will also feature on the agenda of the continents environment ministers and their delegations, trying to form a common position on the way forward for the African continent.
Meanwhile it is also expected that environmental and conservation lobbyists will use the presence of the ministers to highlight the challenges they have in host country Tanzania, where according to regular sources the environment is under assault like never before. A series of white elephant and ill considered projects have left dark spots on Tanzanias previously immaculate image as a conservation nation but no more.
Last week we heard about poaching reaching alarming proportions. The issue of the Serengeti highway is still unresolved. So is the routing for the proposed railway to Musoma. The Lake Natron soda ash plant continues to be mentioned by government officials and yet it would spoil the breeding ground of the flamingos. The Selous has two issues, the uranium mining for which the 200 square kilometres are being removed from the reserve but it will still impact the environment around and into the reserve. The power project at Stieglers Gorge will completely alter the entire fabric of the core tourism are because of the extensive flooding. And then there is the Coelacanth marine national park near Tanga where they intend to build a deep sea port. There are lots of other issues too we are concerned about but these are the most crucial ones right now, besides the illegal logging which decimates our forests. We shall try to alert the ministers and the delegations of our struggles and challenges here so that they not only hear from officials speeches that all is well in Tanzania. It is not, our environment is under big threat contributed a regular source from Arusha when asked what to make out of Tanzania hosting the continental environment meeting. Watch this space for expected updates from regular sources intent to sit in the public sessions of this meeting and what resolutions and strategies the environment ministers and their delegations will come up with .