Zimbabwe’s preparedness on climate change ad hoc

by Wallace Mawire

A National Climate Change Response Strategy which is being initiated in Zimbabwe will ensure that the country has a well coordinated and integrated approach to climate change, according to the Secretary for Special Affairs in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr Thankful Musukutwa.

Mr Musukutwa made the remark at the official opening of a two day national workshop for the National Climate Response Strategy for Zimbabwe  in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

According to Mr Musukutwa Zimbabwe’s preparedness and actions in response to extreme climate and weather events have been on an ad hoc basis therefore calling for more coordination.

“I would like to remind you all that the government of Zimbabwe views global climate change as a serious threat.Through the years, Zimbabwe has demonstrated its willingness to preserve the global climate for the good of the present and future generations through meeting obligations under the Climate Change Convention,” he said.

He added that government established a National Task Team on Climate Change (NTT) from a recommendation of the heads of ministries climate change seminar that was held in 2010, “This seminar followed realization by the government that climate change is crucial,multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral and requires harmonized coordination amongst sector ministries,” Musukutwa said.

The workshop was  attended by various stakeholders who include institutions and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) representatives.The participants  reviewed and provided their input into the  draft document of the climate change response strategy.

Zimbabwe is in the process of formulating the comprehensive national climate change response strategy to help guide government on how to deal with climate change issues, according to Professor Sarah Feresu, Principal Investigator for the University of Zimbabwe’s Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) contracted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management to lead the process.

According to Feresu, the initiative is being carried out in an effort to ensure coordination and effectiveness in programmes aimed at addressing climate change.

It is being spearheaded under the Zimbabwe government’s Climate Change office in the Ministry of Environment.

It is understood that the strategy will help the government to determine whether there is need for a policy or another legal framework on climate change as well as provide a framework for a comprehensive and strategic approach on aspects of adaptation, mitigation, technology, financing as well as public education and awareness.

“With support from UNDP and COMESA, the ministry of Environment has contracted the Institute of Environmental Studies (IES) at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) to spearhead formulation of the climate change strategy,” Prof Feresu said.

The Institute of Environmental Studies has already presented a draft proposal for the national climate response strategy formulation to the National Task Team on climate change.

It is understood that the IES has been using the issues paper incorporating stakeholders inputs and literature reviews to develop a zero draft of the national response strategy on climate change for Zimbabwe.

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