Tuesday February 16 2021

Today marks the 16th anniversary of operationalisation of the Kyoto Protocol on February 16, 2005. This is an international agreement aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and the presence of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.

The essential tenet of the Protocol was that industrialised nations need to significantly lessen their carbon dioxide emissions. The Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11, 1997, when greenhouse gases were rapidly threatening the global climate, life on Earth – and the planet itself.

In short, the Kyoto Protocol operationalised the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by committing industrialized countries, as well as economies in transition, to reduce and otherwise limit the emission of greenhouse gases in accordance with agreed individual targets.

The Convention on Climate Change only requires those countries to adopt policies, regulatory frameworks and other functional measures on climate change mitigation.

The Kyoto Protocol was supplemented by the Doha Amendment of December 8, 2012, which established the Protocol’s second commitment period: 2013-2020.

The Amendment was formulated in such a way that commitments by participating developed countries and economies-in-transition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would become legally binding.


But, getting the nations that are renowned as economic powerhouses – including the US, Canada, Russia, New Zealand and Japan itself – to go along with the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol has not been as easy as is the proverbial ‘walk in the park!’

For example, as of October 2020, only 147 (out of the world’s 194) nations had accepted the Doha Amendment. Canada and the US – which accounts for about a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – were NOT among them, for fear of ‘harming’ their economies! If only for this reason, there is a real need to revisit the Kyoto Protocol and related programmes to make them a universal, all-inclusive practice for all countries on Mother Earth.


Has Tanzania finally embarked upon the right path to functionally exploiting its relatively huge potential in the hides and skins/cum leather subsector of the economy?

This poser has been prompted by the formal launching by President John Magufuli of the new Taifa Leather Company Ltd in Morogoro Region during the weekend.

The Sh50 billion leather factory will (hopefully) prove to be a boon for livestock keepers in the country – and will create a thousand direct employment opportunities by 2022, and 15,000 indirect jobs, mostly for surrounding communities.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics – and, as reported in our December 2, 2020 edition – Tanzania is home to 33.9 million head of cattle (the second-largest herds after Ethiopia, home to 60.39 heads). This is to say nothing of the millions of goats, sheep, donkeys, pigs, etc. that produce hides and skins – both functional industrial inputs. Yet we import leather (and plastic) goods which could have been manufactured locally using internally-sourced hides and skins. Indeed the hides and skins are of low quality – more often than not be-spoiled by whipping from herders; poor manual skinning in abattoirs, etc. We, therefore, urge the relevant authorities – including the government – to educate livestock keepers/herders against whipping their herds, and slaughterhouse operators on best animal-skinning practices (perhaps mechanisation?) .