THE Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu has said the country needs adequate financial support from the international community which has been hampered by illegal sanctions, in order to implement its climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Zimbabwe has made several efforts to adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change.
The country has developed supportive policies and strategies that include the National Climate Policy in 2017, the National Climate Change Response Strategy in 2014, National Renewable Energy Policy of 2019, National Agriculture Policy Framework of 2018 and National Biofuels Policy.
The country recently revised its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which seek to mainstream climate change in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1). The revised NDCs seek to reduce energy related green house gas emission by 40 percent by 2030. Furthermore, the country is finalising the development of its Water Resources Masterplan to guide water resources development and management.
Addressing representatives from landlocked developing countries during a side event at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday Minister Ndlovu said the country had come up with all these strategies to mitigate climate change but they could only be possible with sufficient funding. He said African countries are the least contributors to climate change but were the worst affected.
“Let me outline some areas where Zimbabwe requires enhanced capacity to be able to promote climate action and post Covid-19 pandemic recovery. Zimbabwe requires increased access to adequate financial support to implement our adaptation and mitigation strategies to achieve the goal set in our revised Nationally Determined Contribution. We need to be able to scale up solutions that are working,” he said.
Minister Ndlovu urged developed countries to deliver on their long-awaited promise to raise at least US$100 billion every year in climate finance to support developing countries’ transition to low carbon and climate resilient development pathways.
“We also require affordable and better technologies to strengthen adaptation in agriculture and water sectors to build resilient infrastructure in particular roads and to accelerate energy transition. It is my hope that landlocked developing countries will be assisted in accessing support for enhanced climate action,” he said.
Minister Ndlovu also highlighted disasters which the country has suffered as a result of climate change such as Tropical Cyclone Idai and the Tokwe-Mukosi floods of 2013-2014, which led to the displacement of thousands of communities in Masvingo province.
He said climate change has had a severe impact on food security of smallholder farmers whose operations are not covered by irrigation schemes. He said it had also caused water scarcity which has affected the productive sectors of the economy such as mining, energy, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.
Minister Ndlovu said livestock production has also been affected mainly because of declining pastures.
“It’s very clear that the effects of climate change are disproportionately borne by those who least contributed to it, the developing countries particularly the African countries. The situation is far worse for land locked countries like Zimbabwe,” he said.
Minister Ndlovu also said the Covid-19 pandemic had added to the impact of climate change by presenting additional costs to the economy. He said global logistics were disrupted and countries without access to the seas were worst affected by the lockdown and travel restrictions from neighbouring countries.
He said despite these hurdles the country has introduced climate change solutions for farmers such as climate-smart rain-fed agriculture- “Pfumvudza/Intwasa”. Government has also promoted increased use of water-efficient drip irrigation systems, encouraged use of seed and animal varieties that are tolerant to extreme weather events.
Smallholder farmers have also been trained on rainwater harvesting and moisture conservation.