Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) was one of the stakeholders from the United Republic of Tanzania that participated in the 27th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that took place from 6 to 18 November 2022 at Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.
The COP 27 was held in parallel sessions of the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol; meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement; the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice; the Subsidiary Body for Implementation; and the Dialogue on Paris Agreement.
These sessions were preceded by preparatory meetings of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), the Group of G77 and China, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that were held from 30th October to 4th November 2022. The objective of the pre-sessional meetings was to bring together Parties from different regional blocks to agree and forge a consensus and common position before the official session commences.
Apart from the parallel sessions, the first two days of the meeting involved, a World Leaders Summit (WLS) where more than 130 Heads of State and Governments met following calls to deepen greenhouse gases emissions cuts and figure ways to support developing countries already devastated by the effects of climate change.
Each head of state participated had the opportunity to deliver a statement with a focus on the motto of the meeting which was “Together for Implementation”. The motto implies that the world should move to implementation rather than continue with discussions without climate actions on the ground.
Her Excellency Ms. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania also participated and delivered her speech on 7th November 2022. The speech is accessible on SPEECH: PRESIDENT SAMIA SULUHU HASSAN – COP27 EGYPT – YouTube. The President also led discussions of leaders from 12 Southern African countries on the use of clean energy; one of the main agendas at the conference. Out of these discussions, different investors and donors including the African Development Bank and Total Energies pledged to support the Southern African countries in developing clean energy technology projects.
The United Republic of Tanzania for the first time had a Pavilion at the COP27 (Figure 1). The pavilion offered a meeting space for the Tanzanians attending the Conference. Her Excellency Ms. Samia Suluhu Hassan also had time to meet Tanzanians at this pavilion on 8th November.
The Tanzanian government officials who received the President at this occasion included the Minister of State, Vice President’s Officer, Environment and Union Matters, Dr. Selemani Jaffo, and the Minister of Energy Mr. January Makamba.
In his welcoming speech, Minister Jaffo told the President that Tanzania is ready to receive investors on Carbon Trading Projects after the finalization of the National Carbon Trading Guidelines and Regulations of 2022 under his Ministry. The National Carbon Monitoring Centre (NCMC) hosted by SUA actively facilitated and participated in the development of these documents.
Figure 1 The Tanzania Pavilion at the UNFCCC, COP 27 meeting in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.
Apart from the official UNFCCC sessions the World Leaders Summit (WLS), the COP27 also accommodated a number of bilateral meetings. The most important to SUA was a bilateral meeting held on 9th November 2022 where the Minister of State, Vice President’s Office, Environment and Union Matters, Dr Selemani Jaffo had opportunity to meet with the Norwegian Minister of Environment. The two Ministers gave joint statement on the intention of the two Governments to affirm their Partnership on Climate Change, Environment and Development Cooperation (Figure 2). The previous partnership was signed in 2008 where Norway assisted Tanzania on its readiness process for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) process. In that process Tanzania benefitted from a number of projects, particular toSUA were the Climate Change Impact Adaptation and Mitigation (CCIAM) Programme and the Establishing the National Carbon Monitoring Centre project.
The CCIAM Programme was implemented between year 2009 and 2015. The objective of that programme was to conduct research and capacity building in support of REDD process in Tanzania. SUA was the lead institution in the programme. The partner institutions in Tanzania were Ardhi University (ARU), University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and Tanzania Metrological Authority (TMA). There were also partner institutions from Norway. Among others, this programme carried out 21 research projects on REDD+, trained 28 students at PhD and 69 students at Msc levels and build a climate change modeling laboratory where the NCMC is now hosted.
Through this new intention of the two Governments to partner on Climate Change, Environment and Development Cooperation, SUA may benefit for developing a research and capacity building programme such as the previous CCIAM. SUA may also apply for another phase of the NCMC support project since the roles and mandates of NCMC have recently expanded to host the National GHG inventory and provision of data for reporting climate actions under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). These new roles call for more capacity building in the NCMC.
Figure 2. The Minister of State, Vice President’s Office, Environment and Union Matters, Dr Selemani Jaffo and the Norwegian Minister of Environment giving joint statement on the intention of the two Governments to affirm their Partnership on Climate Change, Environment and Development Cooperation, in the Tanzanian Pavilion on 9th November 2022 at the UNFCCC COP 27 meeting in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.
On the other note, the NORAD Director of Climate Change Mr Stig Traavik, visited the Tanzania Pavilion on 9th November, 2022. He indicated that NORAD is willing to supplement the bilateral projects and programmes and also provide funding through NORHED. We will therefore be happy to see more future NORAD support as promised.
At the Tanzanian Pavilion there were also side events presentations that were done from the sectors of energy, forestry, agriculture and financing mechanisms. NCMC moderated (Figure 3) a side event by Tanzania Forest Services that took place on 16th Nov, 2022 on Forest Resources Management in Tanzania: A global contribution to carbon sink and local community Resilience. There were two presentations by TFS and UICN and after the presentations NCMC had an opportunity to give a narrative of its activities in relation to forestry sector and moderated a session of question and answers. There were interested participants from Ethiopia, Zambia, Uganda and Nigeria, and others from outside Africa.
Figure 3. NCMC moderating a side event by Tanzania Forest Services at the Tanzanian Pavilion to the UNFCCC COP27 at Sharm El Sheik Egypt 16th November, 2022
Other interesting side events included those by CRDB on its funding opportunities under GCF project they implement. Through this project CRDB will provide loans to fund small scale farmers to implement climate smart agricultural practices. On another note, the Rural Energy Agency (REA) provides funds to investors on clean energy projects targeting rural areas.
Following the United Republic of Tanzania publishing the National Carbon Trading Guidelines and Regulations of 2022, more than 10 carbon trading investors and developers met with NCMC/SUA delegates to seek for clarifications and investment opportunities on carbon trading. One of the NCMC role in the carbon trading will be on the hosting of the Carbon Projects Registry. The investors and developers expressed their readiness to register their carbon projects with NCMC in a near future.
The COP 27 has therefore provided the platform for interaction at the highest political and technical levels. The participation of Tanzania’s top leaders in the Climate Summit increased the visibility of Tanzania at the international level. The participation of SUA/NCMC as member of the Tanzanian delegation to COP 27 has provided an opportunity to benefit from key issues discussed and decisions made during the COP 27 meeting; bilateral meetings and discussions with different stakeholders.