An IIED-facilitated learning group of environment and development experts met in 2006, co-hosted by the Vice-President’s Office and WWF-Tanzania. It addressed the ways in which the national development and poverty reduction plan (MKUKUTA) had included environmental issues. The group concluded that a ‘planning gap’ had been bridged, notably through:
- The joint mandate of the Vice-President’s Office for both poverty reduction and environment
- Outcome-based development planning processes (as opposed to ‘priority sectors’). This allowed environmental interests to show what they can contribute to all outcomes.
- A special environmental expenditure review being included in public expenditure reviews – asking questions of how environmental assets and hazards are being managed – which was a critical turning point in greatly improving the government budget for environment.
- An effective donor coordination group on environment, which worked well in government
The learning group moved on to recommend ways in which to tackle ‘investment, capacity and decentralisation gaps’ to ensure that environment was acted on in development:
- The environmental investment gap – firstly requires the identification of priorities amongst the MKUKUTA’s many targets, thus making up for severe under-investment in environmental assets for pro-poor growth and livelihoods. This needs better economic assessment.
- The environmental capacity gap – the need especially for environmental information/monitoring systems and institutional development to enable environmental authorities and management bodies to meet new responsibilities for securing environmental services in support of development.
- A power shift towards localisation and environment-dependent stakeholders – the MKUKUTA conducted the biggest-ever national consultation on environmental issues: the challenge is how to maintain this momentum and empower people to take part in MKUKUTA implementation.
For report, see Assey et al. (2007).