Environmental Civil Societies organizations of Tanzania have formed a coalition to address accountability in natural resource management.
Speaking to the opening of the meeting that was held at WWF TPO on 08th June 2009, Mr. Molten Erickson the CSO Programme Technical Advisor said that there is a need of this coalition to address misuses of natural resource in Tanzania as togetherness brings more impact than working in separate.
He said Tanzania has been loosing economically and environmentally due to lack of accountability, corrupt and criminal practices in natural resource managements as different report signifies. He cited a report “Does Aid Work”, a report that indicates that more than 50 percent of the Norwegian funding to Natural Resource Management in the period of 1994 to 2006 must have been misused (USD 30 millions out of USD 60 millions). On the other hand a report on illegal logging in the Southern Tanzania by Traffic /Milledge 2007 also address Tanzania annually loosing USD 52millions as the result of leakage in payment of royalties and taxes of forest that were harvested. Moreover more revenue is lost to wildlife hunting fees whereby hunting blocks that are sold at USD 8,000 that can easily be sold at USD 40,000.
The coalition meeting was attended by Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF), Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), Policy Forum, Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT), Concern Worldwide and Legal and Human Right Center (LHRC). The coalition will be open, informal and inclusive body for all organization, bodies and individual that will support the declaration and contribute to overall vision and goals of the coalition.
The coalition will target to address the accountability campaign in natural resource management in the coming National Local Election and in the National Election in 2010.The coalition will be funded by Royal Norwegian Embassy through the Programme to Strengthen Civil Environment Society Organizations of Tanzania. Currently there is TSh 50 to 60 millions to support the campaign. The coalition will be working to do the following activities.
• Develop a declaration against corruption that all participating organization will support and seek broad support among Tanzanian organization.
• Develop a communication strategy with value and guidelines for how the coalition will communicate and raise issues.
• Have one annual public event highlighting the values of natural resource and the destruction by corrupt management.
• Address corruption issues related to natural resource management in general and in the subsector through the year and information and documentation is revealed.
• Consider establishing a central information hub where public and organization can inform anonymously about corruption and use this information to challenge the responsible authority.
• Challenge donors to do corruption on their support to the management of natural resource and make finding public.
It was agreed upon that to start with , the coalition will support the already existing initiative that address accountability in the natural resource management like “Mama Misitu” of TNRF and other initiatives in the participating organization. On the other hand six CSO volunteered to draft the coalition document and the way how it will be structured. The CSOs that volunteered were LEAT, Concern Worldwide, Policy Forum, LHRC as well as WWF TPO. The next meeting will be held on 17th of September 2009.