Environmental Democracy Index Score
Tanzania received a fair score on the Participation, Justice, and Transparency pillars. For the Transparency pillar, most government authorities are obligated to proactively make environmental information available to the public, but this does not include timely and relevant information during environmental emergencies. Regarding the Participation pillar, the right to public participation is provided in the constitution, but laws only provide for proactive public engagement in a few types of decision making. With respect to the Justice pillar, Tanzania’s laws grant the public broad legal standing when environmental harms are committed. The government is also required to provide compensation, restoration, injunctive relief, and several other remedies. Despite this, its justice score was limited by the fact that the laws lack mechanisms by which the public can appeal decisions to deny information requests. By addressing these issues, Tanzania could ensure the public has access to comprehensive environmental information, there are review procedures that apply to decisions on information requests, and the public can participate in decision making relating to most decisions affecting the environment.
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The TAI Tanzania coalition completed a TAI assessment in 2006, finding significant progress in developing the legislative framework for improving environmental access rights. The coalition also made several key recommendations to create clear and strategic policy for capacity building on environmental issues to support the laws that are passed, specifically on increasing access to information. TAI Tanzania is currently working on the implementation of TAI report recommendations including conducting community training on access rights and establishing a media campaign on access rights.
The national lead organization of the TAI Tanzania chapter is the Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team (LEAT), the first public interest environmental law organization in Tanzania. LEAT is leading the Tanzanian effort to implement TAI recommendations, including conducting community training on access rights and establishing a media campaign on access rights. LEAT also carries out policy research, advocacy and selected public interest litigation. Its membership largely includes lawyers concerned with environmental management and democratic governance in Tanzania.