The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) came into being in 1983 when the Government of Tanzania enacted the National Environment Management Act No. 19 of 1983. NEMC was established with a broad mandate in response to the national need for such an institution to oversee environmental management issues and also implement the resolutions of the Stockholm conference (1972), which called upon all nations to establish and strengthen national environmental Councils to advise governments and the international community on environmental issues.

The enactment of Environmental Management Act No. 20 of 2004 (EMA, 2004) by Parliament in October 2004, repealed the National Environmental Management Act No.19 of 1983 and re-established NEMC. EMA 2004 provides for a legal and institutional framework for sustainable management of the environment, prevention and control pollution, waste management, environmental quality standards, public participation, environmental compliance and enforcement. Furthermore, it gives NEMC mandates to undertake enforcement, compliance , review and monitoring of environmental impacts assessments, research, facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making, raise environmental awareness and collect and disseminate environmental information.

The challenge of integrating Environmental concerns into development processes for sustenance was first realized in the late 1960s and this culminated in the Stockholm Conference on Environment and Development in 1972.

Tanzania responded to this global Environmental Processes by enactment of the NEM- Act 1983, creating an Environmental Council [known as National Environmental Management Council-NEMC] which became operational in 1986; the formulation and approval of the National Environment Policy 1997 and the recent Environmental Management Act (EMA), 2004. Further Tanzania has ratified several of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements

The object and purpose for which NEMC is established is to undertake environmental enforcement, compliance, review and monitor environmental impact statements, research and awareness raising.