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Climate change response in the Zimbabwean times


Tendai Guvamombe(Harare)

Over the recent years different climatic regions of the world went through drastic changes in terms of weather events and patterns emanating from the effects of global warming.

These   are becoming more visible in every part of the globe, a predicament which has triggered countries  under United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to put  climate change agenda into motion.

Close to 192 nations at the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015 consented to reduce their global emissions to 2 percent with checks and balances expected  in 2023.

The  agreement also compels member states to work on their nationally determined climate actions also known as NDCs in which signatories under the Paris Agreement offers their pledges on reduction of global emissions.

Zimbabwe is among 194 nations that ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and is expected to achieve its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Low Emissions Development Strategy   crafted by Climate Change Management Department in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The  government has an obligation to translate the NDCs document into local climate actions and this comes in the aftermath of devastating effects of Cyclone Idai and the severe drought   experienced this year.

The last quarter of the year have seen a number of activities transpiring in various parts of the country aimed at achieving a climate resilience society in Zimbabwe.

According to Dr Washington Zhakata Director Climate Change Management Department in the Ministry of Environment, his office has been on the ground  scaling up mitigation actions on drought stricken communities in the country.

“The government through the Climate Change Management Department with the the help of development partners has been on the ground in various communities implementing projects meant to make people respond to latest requirements of climate change in the country.”

“We engaged famers in communities of Buhera and part of Masvingo where drought affected their crop yields will now be encouraged to focus on small grains that are drought resistant to lessen hunger and food shortage.”

“ Boreholes have been drilled in parts of  Matebelaland the likes of Bulilima district  where various irrigation programs have been implemented.”

Apart from this more has been done in scaling up climate action in the country and this saw various stakeholders coming on board taking part in climate actions.

Local government, City Authorities, tertiary institutions are some of the sectors that have been romped in to pledge their sectorial contributions.

The combined efforts are a fulfillment of UN Secretary General’s remarks that “climate change calls for everyone’s attention and time is now.”

In this regard  Dr Munesu Munodawafa Permanent Secretary of Environment Climate Change Tourism and Hospitality Industry said that Zimbabwe is not immune to climate change saying that it is a reality.

“Zimbabwe is not immune to climate change and as a country we have had disasters, displacement of buildings and drought. Without climate change  mitigation and adaptation we risk food security and shelter.”

A follow up to the Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change held last two months saw three declarations coming out and these anchored on calls to scale up forestry projects and working on minimization of coal and fossils.

“Katowice Ministerial Dialogue on forests for Climate Change recognizes importance of carbon sinks as critical, a declaration which recommends government to additional support towards forestry programs.”

“countries are  strategically called  to manufacture non-fuel driven vehicles, the likes of lithium batteries  and thrive to minimize  to minimize carbon emissions in fossils and coal”, said Kudzai Ndidzano Deputy Director Climate Change Management Department.

Zimbabwe is expected to implement its Nationally Determined Actions (NDC) targeting to reduce emissions – 33 percent from the energy sector by 2030.

Zimbabwe’s NDCs as its national climate change response will see the country having  a very strategic position at COP 25 in Madrid this November.

Tendai Guvamombe