By Tendai Guvamombe
The Government of Zimbabwe through The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry is set to hold a National Dialogue on Eco-Tourism from 29th to 30 April 2021 in Victoria Falls. Climate Change Experts are expected to unpack the Zimbabwe’s Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) and present the country’s mitigation options in the tourism sector before Tourism stakeholders.
The programme is part of a collaboration between the Government of Zimbabwe and United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) with support from Russian Government dubbed ‘The Support Towards Implementing Zimbabwe’s Nationally Determined Contributions(STIZ-NDC).
In an interview with Lawrence Mashungu, a Climate Change Mitigation Expert in the Climate Change Management Department(CCMD) said the national dialogue on Eco tourism will be important in bringing to light sound opportunities for climate change mitigation options, identified energy efficiency, renewable energy actions and water efficiency in line with the Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS).
“As detailed in our Low Emissions Development (LED), the tourism sector possesses very large but untapped potential for climate change mitigation through the implementation of energy efficiency opportunities, uptake of the renewable energy actions identified in the LEDS and through exploration in refrigeration and air conditioning modernization. The tourism sector also has the potential for water efficiency given the significantly high water use in the sector that arises primarily due to the lack of awareness on water use efficiency in the sector. ”
“The national dialogue on ecotourism aims at promoting the integration of the LEDS into planning particularly in the tourism sector to enable comprehensive implementation of the LEDS as well as contribute to the discussion on updating the NDCs. In addition, with the coming in of the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) under the Paris Agreement”
The two day dialogue will be key in enhancing Climate Smart Cities, achieving energy and water efficiency inline with the global trend.
On the other hand the workshop will help the country in the implementation of its nationally determined contributions in line with Paris Agreement on Climate Change which calls for countries to update their NDC targets by enhancing Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Framework. This also calls for enhancement of partnerships with investors and companies and academic institutions, to open up investments, collaborations and technological exchange for low emission development.