Zim needs climate change policy

As civil society groups gear up for the forthcoming International Climate Change meeting in Johannesburg in November, the Climate Change Working Group in Zimbabwe has urged stakeholders to form partnerships, strengthen implementation of adaptation projects and come up with pertinent issues that will bolster negotiations at the meeting.

“Partnerships are crucial in helping achieve Millennium Development Goals which are critical for sustainable development,” said Shepard Zvigadza, Chairperson of CCWG and also the Director of ZERO.

These partnerships, he said, would assist in creating a database of who is doing what on the ground so that duplication of activities is reduced. Sourcing of adaptation funds would be made easier as stakeholders form these strategic alliances and also the transfer of appropriate technology for local communities.

Zimbabwe is faced with immense issues in dealing both with difficulties that climate change brings and some of the new opportunities and funding streams that emanate from the climate change negotiations.

In order to benefit fully, there is an urgent need for a localized and comprehensive policy document for Zimbabwe that incorporates the various pieces of legislation and statutory instruments that are found within different line ministries.

Presenting the Government of Zimbabwe position on the need for a policy document at a recent workshop, Dr Washington Zhakata who heads the Climate Change Office under the Ministry Of Environment and Natural Resources Management, admitted the need for a policy.

He said it would take some considerable time, but all the background information was now available and the process would start soon.

Delaying tactics

Many believe that protracted international negotiations are putting developing countries, especially in Africa, at risk as the developed countries continue to use delaying and frustrating tactics.

“If developed countries continue to undermine such efforts, developing countries should adopt more audacious proposals,” said Toga Fakarayi of Birdlife Zimbabwe.

Daisy Mukarakate of the UNDP Zimbabwe felt that a strategic policy document should only take about six months as long as civil society and government come together amicably.

“The funds for this undertaking are available and what is needed is to let national priorities such as climate change take centre stage,” she said, adding that civil society should continuously engage the government in order to produce the policy document.

CCWG is composed of 40 organizations and all these are clamouring for a comprehensive policy document for Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Zvigadza notes that the the recent Southern Voices Regional Advocacy Meeting held in South Africa attended by six southern African countries aimed to strengthen climate change related networks and partnerships in South Africa and share information about activities planned by these networks for COP 17.

Post published in: Environment

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