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The Network for Environmental and Climate Justice (NECJ) notes and acknowledges the sentiments of President Mnangagwa to pursue “new innovative solutions and alternative avenues” in light of the threat of climate change and has proffered recommendations to achieve the same objectives.
On February 6, 2024, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in his address to the Cabinet acknowledged the need to pursue “new innovative solutions and alternative avenues” in light of the threat of climate change.
NECJ acknowledges the fact that climate change poses a major threat to sustainable development hence the need for concerted action as Zimbabwe moves to meet its development goals.
In line with Zimbabwe’s Climate Change Policy, NECJ says the Government of Zimbabwe and other Development Partners must consider the following;
- To respect, protect, fulfill, and promote all human rights for all affected persons without discrimination.
- To ensure that affected communities have the necessary capacity to adapt to climate change, particularly those that are most vulnerable. There is a need to devote resources towards the realization of social, economic, and cultural rights of affected communities while promoting evidence-based research and technological development.
- To mobilize the maximum available resources for the realization of economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as for the advancement of civil and political rights and the right to development – international cooperation is key in this regard.
- Promote agricultural production and sustainable use of the environment and protection of natural ecosystems
- Promote equity by ensuring that efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change should benefit people in vulnerable situations and future generations.
- Addressing inequalities that result from Climate Change is key and efforts on Climate Justice must ensure gender equality, promotion, and protection of the rights of children, older persons, and others in vulnerable situations.
- To ensure meaningful and informed participation in climate change and its related disasters by affected communities. The government must make early-warning information regarding climate effects and natural disasters available to all sectors of society.
- Strengthening disaster preparedness and management is key and in this regard, devolution of resources (both financial and human) is essential to allow for area-centered responses.
- Adaptation and mitigation plans should be publicly available, transparently financed, and developed in consultation with the affected communities. This is in line with the concept of community solutions to community problems.
- To mainstream climate change in all government policies and work with civil society organizations, traditional leaders, and local communities to raise awareness. It is critical to put human rights and social justice at the core of efforts to address climate change and its related disasters.
- To recognise the role of traditional leaders in climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as information dissemination.
- Restoration of livelihoods and regular counseling sessions for the affected communities is equally important.
*Part of these recommendations are based on United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recommendations on climate change mitigation and adaptation*