Zimbabwe at the edge of Climate Change Resilient Society

The science is sobering; the global temperature in 2012 was among the hottest since records began in 1880. Make no mistake: without concerted action, the very future of our planet is in peril,” said Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde in 2012.

Global temperature rise among other pertinent issues compelled member states bound under Paris Agreement on Climate Change to reveal their Nationally Determined Contributions before the UN Secretary General’s Summit slated for September this year.

The Zimbabwean path towards achieving its Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) has been impetus.

The LEDS document under went a wide spread consultation process which saw an overwhelming response from various stakeholders from the government and other sectors.

This came at the back of positive strides made by Climate Change Department in partnership with United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) in working on mitigation measures to ensure a climate change resiliennt society.

The LEDS draft document has got provisions which virtually prioritizes selective actions that benefit the country at the back of financial injections which Lawrence Mashungu from Climate Change Department refers as the Abutment Cost Curves.

“In coming up with our mitigation actions for the Low Emissions Development Strategies we use the Marginal Abutment Cost Curves for prioritizing actions so the ones with negative costs are the ones that benefit the country, for example when we invest in the Batoka obviously it had initial costs but on the long-run it is beneficial to the country, there is also the issue of energy efficiency, issue of manure management and also climate smart agriculture smart.”

The LEDS document is yet to be launched at the highest level and will initially become Zimbabwe’s Nationally Determined Contribution at the high profiled UN-Summit which is just around the corner.

Such a climate change outline plan eventually invite attention from Climate Change Funding Institutions and multilateral organizations in the developed world.

On record it is scientifically proven that rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are a major cause of global warming.

Humankind has only a small time window in which to meet the challenge of climate change and take steps to limit the global rise in temperature to a maximum of 2°C.

In this regard climate change effects has been largely felt in various parts of Zimbabwe causing myriad problems to local communities.

According to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement – Hon Perrence Shiri the devastations from extreme weather conditions, the likes of Cyclone Idai and low rainfall pattern in some parts of the country requires an integrated commitment from various sectors.

“Divastations from extreme weather conditions as demonstrated this year by tropical Cyclone Idai Climate and the 2018-2019 rainfall season, Climate Change is a cross cutting issue affecting socio-economic development, this means all ministries should integrate climate change into their policy planning and budget frameworks.

The response needed to reduce greenhouse effects requires manufacturers, energy sector, cities, farmers and transport sector , small sectors and individuals to play thier party, it is therefore more important for government officials and ministries to be well informed of the orientation of climate change. ”

Recently the ministry announced weather forecast for this year’s rainfall season which is a signal to another drought spell and could see some parts of Masvingo, Buhera, Gokwe South, Bulilima, continuing to feel the climate change effects.

Against this background Climate Change Department in partnership with UNDP are on ground to spearhead sustainable projects in various communal areas as a mitigatory measure to climate change.

“We are in the process to implement projects, the likes of Chiredzi and Buhera as well as projects in Gokwe South and Lupane, Bulilima.”

“We have assisted communities with livelihoods gardens, nutritions where we put solar powered conveyance systems with tanks and taps to make sure we assist the women who are normally affected together with school children,” said Dr Washington Zhakata, Director Climate Change Department.

Anticipations are that, ratification of Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the much awaited UN Secretary-General Summit the country will be able to move forward in terms of transformations in energy, transport and agricultural sectors and this will become a major turning point in achieving green economy society free from carbon emissions.

Tendai Guvamombe