The effects of climate change have been on the news in Zimbabwe lately. The Southern African country is already suffering from them, but the situation could get worse if decisive action is not taken. Against this backdrop, the government of Zimbabwe has launched a national UN CC:Learn project to strengthen learning and skills development to address climate change in the country with the specific aim of advancing the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP). On the 21st and 22nd October 2019, the Climate Change Management Department of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, in collaboration with UN CC:Learn and UNDP Zimbabwe, held the project Inception and National Planning workshop to kickstart the National Climate Change Learning Strategy development process.
The two-day event brought together representatives from the government, academia, civil society, youth, and media.
Mr. Washington Zhakata, the Director for Climate Change Management opened the workshop by highlighting the importance of raising public awareness of climate change among the population to effectively address this pressing issue. He also highlighted the importance of having climate change integrated within the formal education curricula at all educational levels. He further complimented the commitment from cooperating partners to supporting the process and mainstreaming climate change learning in the implementation of NDCs/NAPs including the need to reach various stakeholders in the country including youth, elderly, every gender, the disabled to ensure that they are empowered to be resilient to impacts of climate change. As a country that is highly vulnerable to impacts of climate change, strengthening individual and institutional skills would improve coordination and further development of the NDC including food security.
The main goals of the workshop were to:
- Develop a common understanding of the objectives and main elements of the National Climate Change Learning Strategy;
- Endorse the national coordination structure for the project;
- Present and collect feedback on the Background Report which takes stock of relevant national and international policies and initiatives;
- Identify key actors to be engaged in developing the National Climate Change Learning Strategy;
- Agree on the Objectives, Terms of Reference and project work plan;
- Foster engagement of educational and vocational training institutions
- Share experiences with- and learn from other regional partners from Zambia, Malawi, and MIET Africa.
Zimbabwe is a party under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and has made pledges to address climate change, in particular through Article 6 of the UNFCCC, which is on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness. The development and implementation of the National Climate Change Learning Strategy is part of the country’s efforts to fulfill its commitments under the Paris Agreement.