The government is formulating a national climate change strategy to mainstream issues on this phenomenon into tangible policies to mitigate against drought and other related effects.
Addressing delegates at a claimate change workshop in Bulawayo yesterday, Environment and Natural Resources Management secretary Florence Nhekairo said the strategy will be drafted with the guidance of the Office of the President and Cabinet.
She also said the government would soon court the private sector to invest in mitigation activities, adding a policy vacuum and lack of knowledge on the effects of climate change was threatening Zimbabwe’s goal to achieve full agricultural potential.
“The government of Zimbabwe views climate change as a serious issue,” she said.
“The government has initiated a process of formulating a national climate change strategy with the guidance of the Office of the President and Cabinet. The strategy will result in mainstreaming climate change issues in development in the country.”
Nhekairo said developed countries were supposed to pay for costs of adaptation in developing countries saying they had accepted historical responsibilities for causing current changes in climate.
The climate change debate has of late been characterised by mixed sentiments between developing and developed countries with the former accusing the latter of the biggest contribution to the problem and calling for greater contribution towards mitigation and adaptation.
Under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, developing countries have access to funds for investment in environmentally sound technologies, which means Africa stands to benefit from the fund.
Nhekairo said recent droughts that have been experienced in the country had reduced surface freshwater availability, loss of biodiversity and disturbance of agricultural zones.
Climate change, which is fast becoming the world’s number one development challenge, is blamed for causing changes in rainfall patterns and temperatures swings.