A six day scoping visit was made in Zanzibar to understand the existing issues and challenges in the island concerning waste and wastewater management, tourism sector, forestry and climate change; and compliance and enforcement. On 29th August, 2016, a half day stakeholder consultation workshop was organized by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi and Zanzibar Environment Management Authority (ZEMA) to discuss the major findings of the scoping visit done by CSE staff and to finalise the major areas of future intervention.
Dr. Sheha Maja, Director General (DG) of Zanzibar Environment Management Authority (ZEMA), inaugurated the workshop and appreciated CSE’s work in the field of environment across Global South. He highlighted the need for major reforms in Zanzibar concerning environmental degradation. Sunita Narain, Director General (DG) of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) mentioned in the inaugural that the tourists visit the island for its pristine beauty but such a huge inflow is also leading to environmental damage. Thus, it is imperative to take the right measures to preserve the nature by taking accurate measures before it’s too late. Mr. Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE highlighted that environment must be the key theme behind Zanzibar’s development objectives. The workshop was attended by the concerned stakeholders of departments dealing with urban development, waste management, tourism sector, wastewater treatment, NGOs and private consultants.
Ms. Narain briefed about CSE’s global work and major areas of intervention in countries that CSE is currently engaged with mainly Kenya, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Rwanda, Tanzania and Namibia. Dr. Maja briefed about the roles and responsibility of ZEMA and the Department of Environment (DoE), which is a parallel organization responsible for environmental governance in Zanzibar besides ZEMA under the recently enacted Environmental Management Act of Zanzibar 2015. It was followed by a presentation by CSE field team, Ms Kankana Das and Ms. Swati Singh Sambyal on their assessment of the existing situation of the island along with the recommendations based on the existing socio-economic conditions of the island.
This was preceded by a closed group interactive session, based on the outcome of field visit on the basis of which an agreement was made to work on the following areas immediately after the MoU is signed between the two parties.