Strengthening Environmental Audit in Tanzania

The National Environment Management Council (NEMC)is putting emphasis to ensure regulated communities comply with the environmental governing laws. In facilitating such a process, the Council has embarked in developing supporting tools including Guidelines, Terms of References (ToR) and Technical Manuals that can support the undertaking and implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Audits.

Environmental audit is a series of activities undertaken on the operations of a facility to evaluate its environmental performance. This is in recognition that the environment is an important parameter for consideration for any decision-making for the development of any organizations and national-wide environmental programs as a whole. However, an effective way of addressing environmental issues of any facility is through systematic environmental management programs including undertaking of self-environmental audits. These audits are considered as a methodological examination, involving analyses, tests and confirmations of a facility’s procedures and practices with a goal of verifying whether they comply with environmental legal requirements. 

NEMC has observed that the current self-audit reports are in different formats, they lack important information and in some situations they do not reflect the actual situation of the operating facility. Likewise, these reports do not cover adequately information included in the Environmental Management Plan developed during EIA. Therefore, NEMC has requested CSEbased on our expertise on environmental issues to support preparation of the audit manual to strengthen the existing system and the data can be used for policy decision. 

The developed technical manual is intended to streamline processes associated with undertaking and review of the environmental audits. The submitted self-audit reports need to be clear, capable of identifying and correcting non-compliances as well as supporting improvement programs. Therefore, this manual is intended to strengthen the Environmental Audits in Tanzania.