No. 9 May 1997 Supplement

Country Study News

The Newsletter of the UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment


Tanzania has already been the subject of a GHG inventory and climate change mitigation study, supported by the German technical cooperation agency GTZ, and assisted by the UNEP Centre. That study, carried out by the Centre for Energy, Environment, Science and Technology (CEEST), Dar es Salaam, concentrated mainly on the energy sector and identified various mitigation options. Preliminary results were reported in the report of the Phase I project and final results were reported by CEEST.

The energy economy in Tanzania is largely focused on collecting, distributing, and consuming wood fuels (wood and charcoal) to satisfy household demands for cooking. As much as 90% of all primary energy consumed in Tanzania is biomass based. The commercial and industrial energy sectors in Tanzania are extremely small in relation to the household sector. Virtually, all of Tanzania's wood fuel comes from forests-over 90% of all roundwood harvests are for charcoal and fuelwood. As can be expected, much of the demand for fuelwood is satisfied through deforestation.

It is estimated that about 70% of the deforestation in Tanzania is due to fuelwood harvests, directly or indirectly, with about 30% of the deforestation being the result of agricultural land clearing. As the economy matures, deforestation associated with agricultural land use clearing is expected to grow, increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, and reducing the supply of material traditionally available to provide energy.

Given Tanzania's heavy dependence on biomass resources for primary energy, the resultant mining of natural forests, and expected increases in deforestation for agricultural purposes, it is clear that measures to broadly affect the carbon balance in biomass (and soils) are among the most important for mitigating climate change, at least in the short term. Such measures broadly involve conserving existing biomass resources, increasing carbon stocks in new forests, and substituting of wood products for more energy-intensive materials.

A number of promising energy sector mitigation options were identified and assessed in an integrated framework using the LEAP model. These options included the introduction of combined­cycle power plants, increased use of domestic hydropower resources, power imports from neighbouring countries, as well as various energy saving and fuel switching measures in transport and industry.

The Danida­supported study, part of the project "Climate Change Mitigation in Southern Africa Phase II", concentrates on the land­use, agriculture and forestry sectors and focuses on the mitigation potential and cost of protecting the natural carbon stocks (forests) and increasing the sink by afforestation.

The study involves a consideration of modified agricultural practices so that this sector, vital to the Tanzanian economy, can achieve increased productivity while avoiding drastic destruction of natural forest. The mitigation options identified will be compared cross­sectorally with those assessed in the earlier (Phase I) study.

The study is being carried out by CEEST on behalf of the Ministry of Energy, Minerals and Water Affairs, Tanzania. A first National Workshop was held in Dar es Salaam on 31 October 1996 and this brought together representatives from relevant ministries, organisations and academia.

Project Coordinator: Prof. Mark Mwandosya, CEEST, Tanzania

Local Project Manager: Hubert Meena, CEEST

UNEP Centre Project Manager: Gordon Mackenzie

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Last updated: 30 July 1997
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