THE Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry has launched a climate change mainstreaming research programme, in an effort to strengthen the capacity of subnational authorities to integrate climate change in planning and budgetary processes along the lines of devolution guided by evidence-based research.
The programme is a flagship collaboration between State universities and the Ministry of Environment, with Government having prioritised enhanced climate change action in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
The programme will also focus on strengthening the coordination of climate change initiatives in all provinces with stronger involvement of relevant climate stakeholders aimed at balancing, on the one hand, the need for sustained high-level institutional attention on environment and climate change challenges, with the need for sound technical input and efficient coordination to national domestic resilience to climate change.
The initiative falls under the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), a process that supports countries to help reduce their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change whilst also facilitating for the integration of those climate change issues in national and subnational plans towards being proactive to the global challenge of our time. The research programme was designed to support climate change mainstreaming within the country’s subnational structures with the fist phase particularly focusing on provincial structures where they are collaborating with their local universities to build capacity in climate change issues and how it resonates with policy response and strategies as the devolution process gains momentum.
In an interview with The Herald Finance & Business recently, Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry permanent secretary Mr Munesushe Munodawafa said that the Government is working towards producing innovative students who can come up with practical skills to address the adverse effects of climate change.
“The launched programme explicitly seeks to build capacity of institutions and individual actors so that climate change is mainstreamed within lead Government Universities and then across all sectors. Classes are expected to start training the module to students on April 20, 2021.
Mr Munodawafa said that the programme will supports country-led efforts to mainstream poverty-nexus in development planning.
“This project occurred at the right time, following initial mobilisation for climate change adaptation in Zimbabwe. This initiative directly links poverty reduction and economic growth by addressing climate change, hence, it clearly delineates climate change as a development concern.
“Climate change has become a global issue, and there is need for action with everyone’s participation and involvement. Working together with universities will enable us to overcome this global enemy of our time,” he said.
He added that universities can help the country to climate-proof all the socio-economic sectors and create knowledgeable members of the public as they are centres of excellence in so far as leading in innovative ways of climate change mainstreaming and research to back climate change policy and programming.
“Zimbabwe has a low adaptive capacity and this is due to its heavy reliance on climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water, energy production and tourism.
“To this end a National Adaptation Plan is being developed to cushion the country against climate vagaries which we are already experiencing as evidenced by recurrence of droughts over short intervals and cyclones.
“Climate change induced extreme weather events such as floods, tropical cyclones and droughts provide a litmus test for the country in terms of where we are as far as building resilience and mainstreaming climate change is concerned,” Mr Munodawafa said.
The programme intends to support the Government in strengthening the foundation for addressing climate change challenges at national and subnational levels.
“As a country we are faced with the task of enhancing preparedness and ensuring that our socio-economic sectors are climate-proofed in order to withstand and cope with the impacts of climate change which is here to stay, hence if we don’t bend, we will break.
“The challenge for advancing the climate change agenda is limited capacity to mainstream climate change in development planning at national and subnational levels on one hand, limited climate change knowledge and awareness among the entire citizenry on the other hand,” he said.
According to the permanent secretary, Zimbabwe has cumulatively accessed funds from the Green Climate Fund towards creating the enabling environment and fostering climate resilience of vulnerable districts in the country.
“With the support from the Green Climate Fund, Zimbabwe is advancing its national adaptation planning agenda by way of building its capacity to advance enhanced climate action.
“This has now seen the launch of the pilot climate change mainstreaming research programme, targeted at enhancing the capacity of five selected members of the provincial development committee of each province to be able to integrate climate change issues in development planning.
“It is thus critical to enhance climate change knowledge and awareness to enable our planners to plan for and be proactive from a well-informed perspective along the lines of devolution.”
– The Herald