PLAYERS in the private sector have been urged to play a leading role to complement Government efforts in embracing climate change resilience and adaptation strategies in their operations.
Like many other African countries, Zimbabwe is grappling with the adverse impacts of climate change characterised by increased rainfall variability, dry spells, droughts, heavy rains, and flooding, among other effects.
These are having negative effects on energy, agriculture productivity, infrastructure, settlements, water availability, and biodiversity.
To respond to these impacts, the Government has embarked on the National Adaptation Planning process towards mainstreaming climate change and reducing vulnerability across all sectors of the economy.
Speaking during the validation of the Adaptation Finance Strategy held in Kwekwe last Wednesday, chief director of climate and environmental services, Professor Prosper Matondi, said the country requires all hands-on deck to address the adaptation gap.
“We are gathered here to validate the adaptation finance strategy, which estimates that in order for the country to propel along the pathway towards resilience, there is a need to address the adaptation gap standing at US$1 billion per annum between now and 2030 in the prioritised sectors,” he said.
“In the quest for resilience, climate-smart farming systems, including irrigation, weather-based insurance, and catchment management among other key interventions will be prioritised for the implementation of the identified adaptation actions towards transforming Zimbabwe to a climate resilient country.”
Prof Matondi urged increased civic society and private sector participation in supporting Government to ensure national climate mitigation efforts.
“The active participation of these sectors in the climate change discourse will influence how much or how fast we can transform into a climate resilient economy,” he said.
“We should also look at the opportunities and the barriers to their participation in the climate financing space and how to overcome the barriers.”
“We are in this fight together as the Government, development partners, private sector and civil society towards building resilience to the impacts of climate change.”
While Zimbabwe is on its way to the finishing line of the NAP process, Prof Matondi said the Government was mindful of the global impatience in relation to limited funding on adaptation.
“While COP27 noted incremental progress on adaptation, as Zimbabwe we want to make decisive and quickest decisions on national adaptation and ensure that we roll out the financing architecture to implement,” he said.
“For this, we must demonstrate national and sovereign leadership on the national adaptation funding to create and implement decisions in the best interest of Zimbabweans.”
Prof Matondi said adaptation is an overriding priority for Zimbabwe hence it is important to prepare the future for communities who bear the brunt of climate change through greater resilience.
The Treasury has already increased the allocation of resources towards climate change with this year’s allocation standing at $182 billion from $52 billion last year for programmes such as water harvesting (dam construction), climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy, and catchment management among other interventions.