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Writes Tafadzwa Muranganwa
As Zimbabwe gears for COP28 in Dubai where nations will deliberate on various strategies to avert the climate crisis, it has emerged that the country is going to pitch on regenerative agriculture to combat climate change.
Speaking ahead of the climate summit during a pre-COP 28 media sensitization workshop on Wednesday in the capital, Africa Voluntary Carbon Credits Market Forum (AVCCMF) chairman Kwanele Hlabangana told journalists that Zimbabwe is going to present on regenerative agriculture as a climate action strategy.
“At COP28, Zimbabwe will have a position on regenerative agriculture as a way to combat climate change and earn carbon credits. Since we are an agriculture economy, it then follows that we implement projects that are agrarian in nature,” the AVCCMF chairman said.
He also revealed that Zimbabwe will join other developing countries in demanding that developed countries fulfill their pledges of a $US 100 billion climate ‘war chest’.
“The summit will also present the country and other developing countries to follow up on the US$100 billion climate finance pledged by developed countries which we are yet to receive,” added Hlabangana.
The climate summit will be held from November 30 to Tuesday 12 December.
Meanwhile, a local firm, Real-Time Biotech and Engineering trading as Carboneg, is already implementing a regenerative agriculture project across the country and is pleased with the interest it has attracted among farmers.
“We introduced this project early this year and already we are working with between 600 and 700 individual farmers on 80 000 hectares of pastureland. The Cold Storage Commission has partnered with us to work on 114,000 hectares.
“Recently, we inked another deal with war veterans for them to practice regenerative agriculture. While we are working mainly with cattle farmers, we have one unique farmer in Chinhoyi who is practicing regenerative agriculture on his tobacco fields,” revealed Carboneg CEO Tawanda Shamuyarira.
According to Carboneg Senior Project Consultant, Dr Charles Mutimaamba, regenerative agriculture improves soil health, biodiversity, water efficiency, and climate resiliency and allows carbon sequestration.
It is through carbon sequestration that farmers are then rewarded with carbon credits according to quantity. However, Carboneg’s CEO believes that incentives come as bonuses. The main target is to combat climate change.
The founder of Ubuntu Alliance and a member of the Zimbabwe Carbon Association, Chiyedza Heri said apart from regenerative agriculture, the carbon market is huge and the country should tap into this.
“The carbon credits market is huge. For example, the voluntary carbon market is expected to reach US$115 billion by 2030. As a country we have to take advantage of this,” Heri said.
However, the Ubuntu Alliance founder was quick to alert that lack of data on critical information hamper developing countries from attracting climate funds.
“Regrettably, recently Africa received only 2 percent of climate finance and this is mainly because we don’t have critical data that’s needed for carbon credit projects, for example, carbon offsets and biodiversity offsets.
“It is then important to invest in capturing data for monitoring and evaluation,” asserted Heri.
Recently, Zimbabwe promulgated a carbon credits trading law, SI150, that allows the carbon project developer to retain 70 percent while 30 percent goes to the government as an environmental levy.