‘Zim should intensify climate change mitigation efforts’

Source: ‘Zim should intensify climate change mitigation efforts’ | The Herald May 9, 2016

Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter
Zimbabwe should intensify efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change through enhancing water and soil management, scaling up of climate smart agriculture and clean sources of energy, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe Bishow Parajuli said Friday. Mr Parajuli was speaking at the UNDP Human Development Report 2015 launch for the production of the 2016 Zimbabwe National Human Development Report on Climate Change Adaptation.

“Without adaptation, Zimbabwe’s rain-dependent agricultural yield could drop by 50 percent, affecting millions of smallholder farmers, 70 percent of whom are women,” said Mr Parajuli. There is need to urgently address the high levels of poverty – as high as 76 percent in rural areas – and vulnerability to vagaries of nature and shocks of climate change.

“This will require strengthening the capacities of households and communities to produce, add value, market their products and generate income,” he said. He said the economic slowdown, and informalisation of the economy, a sizeable share of the Zimbabwean workforce are underemployed, and engaged in vulnerable employment.

These people neither have decent working conditions nor adequate compensation for the risks they encounter. They hardly have access to any social protection. In this regard, Mr Parajuli said, a vibrant national employment strategy is vital for creating opportunities for work.

“On the other hand, we need to have systems that guarantees worker’s rights, benefits and social protection. “While we need to sustain the gains made in some areas since 2009, we also need to pay particular attention in addressing some deeply seated challenges and emerging issues,” said Mr Parajuli.

The Human Development Index is central to measuring development as an alternative to GDP by measuring life expectancy, incomes per capita and literacy rate. The 2015 report recognises the important role that “work” plays in enriching the economies and peoples’ lives with a human development perspective.

As such, the theme of the report is: “Work for Human Development”.

The report follows shortly after last September’s UN Sustainable Development Summit, where the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted, including Goal 8’s explicit emphasis on work: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. Zimbabwe gained the most in the Human Development Index ranking in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2009, moving upward in the ranking by 12 places.

The 2015 Human Development Report gives a significant recognition to Zimbabwe’s human development gains since 2009. Government is in the process of drafting the 2016 National Human Development report in order to domesticate the HDR production taking a cue from the United Nations World HDR 2015.

Addressing the same meeting, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said the process to develop the 2016 report has commenced.

“The agreed theme for the Zimbabwe HDR is: “Climate Change and Human Development – this comes in the wake of climate change that has impacted negatively on the lives and well-being of all classes of Zimbabweans in recent years, culminating in the current EL Nino induced drought which has affected more than 3 million people,” Dr Sibanda said.