Climate Change Management Bill: Addressing crisis for a brighter future for all

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The Climate Change Management Bill is an undertaking by stakeholders aimed at securing a climate-resilient and sustainable future for the nation of Zimbabwe.

This came to the fore at the Stakeholder Consultations and Engagement on the Draft Climate Change Management Bill and the Zimbabwe Carbon Trading Framework that took place at the Harare International Conference Centre on 22 May 2024.

In her keynote address at the stakeholder engagement workshop, Hon. Dr. Sithembiso G.G Nyoni (MP), the Minister of Environment, Climate and Wildlife underscored the power of collective action and dedication to securing a climate-resilient and sustainable future.

“Today, we have gathered here with a shared purpose and a common goal—to address the pressing challenges born out of the climate crisis and chart a path towards a brighter future for all. As you know, the climate crisis is changing the world, with grave implications for the rights of both the current and future generations. This stakeholder engagement therefore serves as a platform for collaboration, dialogue, and collective action as we tackle the complexities of climate change management,” she said.

Climate change transcends borders, making it a global challenge that demands unified efforts. Zimbabwe has experienced firsthand, the devastating impacts of climate change from the deadly Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts which left stakeholders with no choice but to take action. Through constructive dialogue and open exchange of ideas, stakeholders have been able to build consensus and foster cooperation.

Hon Nyoni said through collaboration, stakeholders can unleash the full potential of their collective intellect and creativity, forging innovative solutions and implementing effective strategies to mitigate and adapt to the far-reaching impacts of climate change.

Consultations on the Bill present a unique and unparalleled opportunity to sculpt a sustainable path forward and serve as the bedrock upon which robust policies and frameworks will be built, aligning the nation with international best practices and propelling the climate change agenda to new heights.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Director of Climate Change Mitigation, Mr. Lovemore Dhoba said the global challenge of climate change has necessitated the urgent need for countries to adopt effective strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and combat its adverse impacts.

“Zimbabwe, as a developing nation, acknowledges the significance of sustainable environmental practices and has taken substantial steps towards addressing climate change. In line with this commitment, the Government of Zimbabwe is working towards the development and gazetting of the Climate Change Bill to enhance its climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

“The successful development and gazetting of the Climate Change Management Bill requires a comprehensive and inclusive approach that involves active engagement and consultation with various stakeholders. Stakeholders in this context refer to individuals and groups who have a vested interest or are directly affected by climate change policies and strategies. This includes local communities, government ministries, departments and agencies, private sector entities, civil society organizations, development partners, academic institutions, etc,” Mr. Dhoba said.

Zimbabwe’s economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy (NDS1) identified climate change as central to environmental protection, climate resilience, and natural resources management and that, if not planned for effectively, may impede the attainment of Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a result, His Excellency, President Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa has assigned the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife; and Parliament to come up with a Climate Change Bill on or before the end of 2024.

The Climate Change Management Bill will establish a robust framework for addressing climate change challenges, promoting sustainable development, and safeguarding natural resources for future generations.