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Media has a role to play in drive to combat climate change

THE Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry is conducting a two-day training workshop for journalists from the Southern Region in order to capacitate them on climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives being undertaken in the country.

Speaking in Bulawayo during the capacity building programme, deputy director in the climate change management department, Mr Kudzai Ndidzano said the media fraternity has a key role to play in the drive to combat effects of climate change.

“Climate change is real and continues to have adverse impacts on the African continent, particularly on developing countries that are highly vulnerable such as Zimbabwe. As a result of climate change, we have seen an increase in extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones just to name a few, which have left a trail of destruction which we are still trying to reconstruct, case and point, the Cyclone Idai event.

Mr Ndidzano added: “These climate extremes leave us with the task of enhancing our preparedness and ensuring that our socio-economic sectors are climate-proofed. Key to the success of this priority to combat climate change is raising awareness on climate change and build capacity amongst the country’s citizens of which media plays an important role in achieving this.”

He said climate change is inevitable, hence the need for action to help people to adapt and become more resilient. Mr Ndidzano said communities had to adopt low carbon and climate-resilient development pathways which can bring multiple wins for society, the economy and the environment.

He said the media was a potential vehicle for disseminating climate change information.

“The need to build capacity of media personnel in climate change information for effective awareness raising in the country becomes vital. Among the objectives of this workshop will be to unpack the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitment which was recently approved by Cabinet,” said Mr Ndidzano.

He said various policies and strategies have been embraced since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 which include the National Climate Policy, Low Emission Development Strategy, NDC Two-Way Communication Strategy, National Adaptation Plan Roadmap, the 2017 System Development Plan, the Renewable Energy Policy, Biofuels Policy, Revised National Gender Policy and Implementation Plan, National Water Resources Master Plan, National Agriculture Policy Framework, Climate-Smart Agricultural Investment Plan and the National Industrial Development Policy; of which are of importance in the implementation of the NDCs.

Government launched the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) which outlines policy and strategic direction beginning this year, 2021 up to 2025. The NDS1 has a pillar that focuses on climatic change issues among other environmental and natural resource management issues.

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