Community-based adaptation essential under CBA-SCALE Southern Africa+ project

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The Scaling up Community Action for Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Southern Africa and Beyond (CBA-SCALE Southern Africa+) launched on the 29th of February 2024 in Harare realises that to support groups most impacted by climate change, community-based adaptation provides livelihood opportunities for communities suffering from climatic shocks.

Addressing delegates who witnessed the launch at Wild Geese Resort in Harare, the Country Director of CARE Internation in Zimbabwe, Mr Patrick Sikana emphasized the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration and prioritization of communities in implementing the project.

“Heatwaves, recurring droughts and extreme rainfall are the harsh reality of climate change for communities in Southern Africa. Ecosystems and infrastructure suffer, while people struggle to have enough to eat. To support those groups most impacted by climate change, community-based adaptation is a proven model of success.

“It follows that the partners should work to improve the communities they work in.  The El-Nino induced drought is going to impact the community’s ability to produce food. It also means that more people will be in need of support, putting pressure on donors. The CSOs also need to improve transparency and accountability. In essence, organisations willing to benefit from the environment should also benefit the environment,” Mr Sikana said.

Project partners will introduce a variety of solutions to navigate the changing climate, ensuring that these are nature-based, gender-responsive and fair. The project aims to support about 500,000 people to manage climate risks. The adaptation actions will act as a stimulus for scaling up. In addition, the project will work with decision-makers at the national and international level to foster an enabling policy and financing environment for community-based adaptation. By doing this, many more communities will be able to benefit from the impact of the project.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife, Professor Prosper B. Matondi, who was represented by Amkele Sidange, the Director,  Education and Publicity Manager of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) urged stakeholders to collaborate and adopt a courageous and forward-thinking approach, that harmonizes environmental concerns with the essential domains of agriculture.

“The intertwining of agriculture, water resources, and fisheries necessitates a holistic approach that not only mitigates the impact of climate change but also fosters sustainable practices for the well-being of our communities.

“So for us, the Community Based Adaptation: Scaling up Community Action for Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Southern Africa and Beyond (CBA-SCALE Southern Africa+) project, is a resounding win/win for everyone,” Prof Matondi said.

Climate change has cast its shadow over the nation’s food and nutrition security, posing formidable challenges that demand immediate attention. Yet, in the face of adversity, stakeholders find hope and inspiration in the remarkable efforts being made to integrate climate policy issues into the fabric of community-based initiatives.

He added that the success of the project will not be measured solely by its tangible outcomes, but by the collaborative spirit that underpins it.

“Together, we have the opportunity to showcase the power of unity and collaboration, where diverse stakeholders come together, transcending boundaries and sectors, to create lasting change. It is through this harmonized approach that we will build resilience, strengthen our communities, and safeguard our precious ecosystems,” he said.

Distinguished dignitaries graced the project launch. Among them were the Ambassador of Germany to Zimbabwe, Dr Udo Volz; the Country Director of CARE Internation in Zimbabwe, Mr Patrick Sikana; and the Head of Division – European and International Adaptation to Climate Change in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection for the Germany Government.

Also in attendance were the Ambassadors of Mozambique and Zambia to Zimbabwe; Provincial Heads from Masvingo province represented by the Office the Secretary of Provincial Affairs and Devolution and the District Heads.

There were also Heads of Parastatals of the Environmental Management Agency and The Forestry Commission; Members of the Donor Community led by Representatives from the EU Delegation and the  USAID; CEOs of the two Local Authorities of Bikita and Chiredzi Rural District Councils; and the CBA-SCALE Southern Africa+ Consortia Partner Heads and staff.