Adopt Climate Smart Solutions or Perish  

    Adopt Climate Change Variability and Unpredictability Assessment  

Adopt Climate Smart Solutions or Perish   

The world is experiencing unimagined climate change induced variability and unpredictability characterized by frequent mid-season dry spells, extreme weather conditions, sub and above normal temperatures with severe impacts on people, animals, crops, livestock, the environment and the infrastructure.

By Francis S. Bingandadi Managing Editor AgriSeason

Climate change has been a very big, less understood whose impacts man people cared less to understand or appreciate.

People are generally not able to associate the cause-effects of climate change to what they are experiencing now and commit themselves to reduction of the effects.

The climate change impacts in Zimbabwe are now manifesting in several unpredictable and less understood weather pattern shifts towards increases in extreme weather conditions like droughts, tropical cyclones, wind storms, heat waves, hailstorms, flooding and landslides.

Climate change is also now responsible for increased soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and deforestation.

Despite all the signs of signs of the rising climate change impacts in Zimbabwe is generally not prepared to mitigate the growing the impacts, due to limited climate change adaptation, planning, financial incapacitation, slow reaction to disasters, and our general slow capacity to build resilience and copying mechanisms.

Zimbabwe is widely expected to receive average to below average rainfall tending to drought and the country does not have capacity to manage a drought given the poor state of the economy.

I the Southern African region it has been noted that several countries are going to feel the climate change impacts the most given their geophysical, political, economic, and social vulnerabilities.

The climate impacts and risks on Southern Africa can be summarized as below:

  • Significant reduction in rainfall.
  • Radical shift in seasons.
  • Shortened growing seasons and more frequent dry spells.
  • Frequent heat waves, intense rain, flooding, hailstorms, cyclones, and flooding.
  • Accelerated desertification, biodiversity loss, extinctions, increased pestilence and disease prevalence.
  • Increased competition for water and food.
  • Rising costs of food production, malnutrition and food insecurity.
  • Increased new weed colonization and dominance.
  • Increased anti-microbial resistance among many incidences and risks.
  • Encroaching malaria incidences into non-malaria zones.
  • Increased incidences of flooding worsening incidences water-borne diseases and infections.

Zimbabwe needs to adopt proactive climate change adaptation policies, plans, programmes, methodologies and practices to manage the impacts, risks and vulnerabilities.

The country needs to build resilient and adaptive capacity for vulnerable groups against the anticipated, current, future and known impacts of climate change.

Zimbabwe needs to develop a shared understanding of the obtaining climate change issues, concepts, developments, effects and causes and develop homegrown solutions, innovations, solutions and technologies.

Many Government programmes and initiatives usually go with little funding, awareness and streamlined programmes for establishment of cause-effect linkages between risks and adaptation action. 

Although climate change is a global phenomenon and problem the risks and vulnerabilities vary and depend on the peoples' circumstances, situations and factors financial resources, expertise, the biophysical environment, the state of the economy, political will of the leadership, and the general national appreciation of environmental issue of the country.

The country's adaptive capacity can be influenced by a number of factors like:

  • Access and capacity to process climate change management and adaptation information and data.
  • Systems capacity to respond to climate change hazards, risks and impacts.
  • Species capacity to adapt, migrate, resist, and thrive in the face of growing climate change impacts and threats.
  • Availability of resources, innovations, technology, finance, skills for climate change management and adaptation.

Zimbabwe’s Climate Change Response Strategy mainstreams climate change through a sectoral approach to ensure that each sector implements adaptation and mitigation actions. Each sector will therefore be able to direct its project proposals to the appropriate funding mechanism.

The Response Strategy is divided into six sections. These include an introductory section which comprises a brief profile of Zimbabwe and the Vision, Mission, Goal, Strategic Objectives, Pillars and Guiding Principles of the National Climate Change Response Strategy (Section 1).

This is followed by a synopsis of climate change across scales from global, regional, national to local level (Section 2); sector specific challenges, risks and impacts as well as relevant adaptation and mitigation measures (Section 3); strategy enablers such as capacity building; technology transfer; climate change education, communication and awareness (Section 4); climate change governance (Section 5); and finally a section on Action Plans, Implementation Framework and Resource Mobilization (Section 6).

The National Climate Change Response Strategy provides a framework for a comprehensive and strategic approach on aspects of adaptation, mitigation, technology, financing, public education and awareness. It will help to inform Government on how to strengthen the climate and disaster risk management policies.

Drought mitigation and resilince mechanisms are generally week and Zimbabwe needs to strengthen climte haazard mapping, climate vulnerability assessments, adaptation action plans formulation, andadaptive capacity assessments to integrate mainstreaming with other national development plans.   

 

Inspired by the Zimbabwe’s National Climate Change Response Strategy, 2016