WATCH: Hope for climate change-free world, Zim host international indaba to mitigate impacts Mrs Veronica Jakarasi

Leonard Ncube, [email protected]

DROUGHTS, changing rainfall patterns, floods, heat waves and extreme frosting are among common challenges affecting the world particularly developing countries as a result of climate change.

These have prompted individual countries to come up with various mitigatory strategies targeting specific sectors such as water, environment, forestry, disaster management, agriculture and food security, gender, industry and technology transfer, human settlements, health, transport energy, social protection, education, mining and others in an effort to address the impact of climate change.

The cross cutting call for creating synergies, collaboration, climate green financing, adaptation, and action at local level is critical as the developing world seeks to reduce the impact of climate change.

Delegates at the NAP workshop in Victoria Falls

More than a dozen countries are meeting in Victoria Falls under the ‘Peer Learning Forum’ with a focus on transitioning from planning to implementation in the national adaptation plan process.

The engagement is being co-hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Victoria Falls.

The three day workshop started yesterday and seeks to share ideas and experiences and strategise towards strengthening the enabling environment for the implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), which are key in reducing vulnerability, enhancing adaptability and planning at national level, as well as discussing how countries can be supported towards accessing climate finance from various funding windows towards building resilience in low carbon trajectory.

Countries are at various stages of planning at crafting NAPs and Zimbabwe has completed the process with the document now awaiting Cabinet approval before it can be launched this year.

Delegates at the NAP workshop in Victoria Falls

According to the NAP Global Network, about 85 percent of countries have at least a NAP instrument hence the workshop seeks to help countries transition from planning to implementation of the NAPs so as the address the impact of climate change.

Climate change impacts everyone especially vulnerable developing countries where human and financial resources, mainstreaming, willingness to adapt, political will, gender and social inclusion are needed to enhance transition and guarantee welfare of people while reducing risks and building resilience.

Giving welcome remarks at the workshop, Interim Chief Director in the Ministry of Environment Mrs Veronica Jakarasi who was standing in for the Permanent Secretary Professor Prosper Matondi said developing countries are the most vulnerable hence he need for improving on global stocktake.

“Climate change is indeed one of the biggest threats facing global development with developing countries being more vulnerable due to their low adaptive capacity and reliance of climate sensitive sectors such as rained agriculture,” she said.

“Small island states and other developing countries are bearing the brunt more on losses and damages as a result of these increased occurrence of extreme weather events.”

Zimbabwe and other countries have over the years been experiencing increased frequency and magnitude of droughts, prolonged mid-season dry spells, heat waves, violent storms and tropical cyclones, with the Cyclone Idai of 2019 as an example.

Mrs Jakarasi said the negative impact of climate change is stalling the country’s development posing serious risks to food security and threatens to derail efforts towards a climate resilient and low carbon economy as enshrined in Vision 2030.

In response to the threat of climate change, the country embarked on crafting the NAP in 2019 with support from the Green Climate Fund facility through UNEP.

Mrs Jakarasi said the future of climate projection in Zimbabwe points to south-western parts becoming warmer and drier thereby increasing vulnerability.

Zimbabwe’s adaptation plan hinges on building reliance in 17 adaptation actions to be implemented between 2024 and 2030. Zimbabwe and other countries are working with NAP Global Network, Canada and IISD.

IISD associate vice president Ms Anne Hammill said the future will be different because of climate change hence the need for proper planning. She implored countries to avoid shelving the NAPs without using them to build resilience.

“Countries have taken different approaches to their adaptation planning processes and are at different stages and are looking at how they can leverage as they recognise the importance and urgency of developing NAPs,” she said.

“One of the challenges that countries are facing is how to identify the different types of financial resources that they can tap into. This is a mix of international support or specific climate change funds and domestic budgets and how to merge them to different types of priorities.”

Ms Hammill commended countries for commitment adding that food security is key to adaptation.

One of the facilitators, Mrs Avia St Louis, an environmental specialist said the workshop is key to sharing best practices on climate financing, creation of synergies between action plans related to adaptation in the Sustainable Development Goals and environmental agreements.

“Climate is a global problem with local impact and therefore to address this it demands action at a local level and global community. When we have synergies we listen to what other countries are doing and so it really allows us to unpack the global challenges we are facing and the urgent need to address the impact,” she said. “There is hope for a climate change free world, we have what we need to address this, we just have to work together and this is a key message coming out of assessment reports.”

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