Zimbabwe has announced three new climate change policies with the aim of making the country more resilient to climate pressures and meet carbon-cutting pledges.
Zimbabwe is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and extreme weather with 80% of the population relying on rain fed agriculture for a living.
The new policies focus on education, climate-smart agriculture and legal structures.
The education climate policy will focus on teaching school children about climate change and promoting climate smart practices, including forest protection and low-emission technology.
The climate smart agriculture policy will help drive farmers to utilise climate smart and resilient farming practices.
In addition, the country’s first national climate policy will introduce legal structures to guide businesses on becoming more environmentally sustainable and meet the emission reductions promised in the Paris Agreement.
Tirivanhu Muhwati, Climate Scientist with the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Water commented:
“The policy has a thrust towards promoting adaptation because, as a developing country, our scope for mitigation or reducing emissions is limited because we are not all that industrialised compared to the developed world”
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change reports that the majority of Zimbabwe’s emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels for energy, agriculture, waste handling and industrial processes. The new policy aims to directly address these key sources.
The educational aspect of the policy compliments existing efforts to add climate change into the national curriculum of schools.
Zimbabwe’s national government has also said it intends to set up a National Climate Fund that would use 10% of national budget to finance adaption to climate change and reducing emissions.
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Image credit: Desmond Kwande/Practical Action