The current Tanzania’s Constitution1 does not address land or environmental matters.
The Forest Ordinance of 1957 is one of the few regulations before 1992 that address natural resource management. Environmental legislation started to develop in the early 1990s with the adoption of the National Environmental Action Plan in 1994 and the National Environmental Policy in 1997. In the following decade, numerous acts concerning the management and conservation of forests, fisheries, water, and wildlife were passed.
The National Environmental Action Plan of 1994 is a national capacity self-assessment report and action plan for the implementation of the post-Rio Conventions. It identifies priority capacity needs, strengths, constraints and possible development interventions, and lays the foundations for the National Environmental Policy.
The National Environmental Policy of 1997 stresses the need to formulate environmental legislation as a crucial component for effective environmental management. It emphasizes the necessity of standards, procedures, duties, and limits which create obligations for all stakeholders and reconcile human activities with sustainable resource governance.
The Environmental Management Act of 2004 is the country’s most comprehensive environmental legislation. It takes a holistic view of the environment as a term that incorporates not only the physical factors surrounding humans but also cultural resources, aesthetics, and the interaction between the natural and built environments. The Act emphasized biodiversity protection and public participation in environmental decision-making, among other areas. It speaks specifically to the duties and responsibilities of humans in protecting nature.
The Environmental Management Act of 2004 created the National Environment Management Council as a regulatory mechanism for all environmental matters. The Council’s mandate is to ensure compliance with national environmental quality standards, conduct research and audit, and review and approve environmental assessments.
Other enabling activities within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) can be found here.
Additional details on Tanzanian environmental policies can be accessed through the Government’s official website.