Tendai Guvamombe (Environmental Reporter)
Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry resumed climate programmes. This has also seen the country fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe is among many nations under United Nations Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) that ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. All the countries are expected to update their pledges(NDCs) before the end of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic derailed Zimbabwe’s climate programmes. However, the Ministry of Environment through the Climate Change Management Department(CCMD) has put in place ways to carry out climate related activities in spite of a deadly pandemic.
In an interview with Lawrence Mashungu a Climate Change Expert in the Climate Change Management Department(CCMD) said both Climate and COVID-19 are affecting the country. The department resumed programmes after the government eased down lockdown restrictions of the first 21 days.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has derailed a lot of progress that we intended to achieve. Both Climate change and COVID 19 are both pandemics that affect us.The current lockdown restrictions allow us to carry out our climate programmes,” he said.
Some of the existing programmes are Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs), National Adaptation Plan(NAP), Low Emissions Development Strategy(LED) among others.
Zimbabwe’s NDCs seek to present a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 33% per capita below the projected business as usual scenario by 2030.
Zimbabwe is also expected to update its Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) towards the end of 2020.
“Countries are supposed to update their nationally determined contributions(NDCs) of which Zimbabwe is one of those countries updating their NDCs.”
The Climate department has adopted virtual ways to carry out consultations, and meetings using online platforms.This becomes idea in a COVID-19 era.
“The processes of updating NDCs can done in the offices but the national program need us to engage stakeholders. Therefore consultations need need to be done . The ease of the lockdown restrictions enabled us to resume our programmes on the ground to ensure that by end of 2020 we are able to communicate our updated NDCs as planned.”
“We have taken advantage of online technology to carry out some activities virtually. We have done some stakeholders consultations via online platforms so that their views are taken aboard.”