Mashonaland West Bureau
An aggressive approach and timely response to meteorological disasters through the National Framework for Climate Services is key to attaining Vision 2030, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu has said.
The National Framework for Climate Services seeks to bridge the gap between climate information being developed by scientists and service providers, and the practical needs of users from community to national level.
Speaking in Kadoma last week during the launch of a two-day workshop on establishing the Zimbabwe National Framework for Climate Service, which was attended by stakeholders and academics from local universities, Minister Ndlovu said attainment of Vision 2030 needed robust measures to address climate change that had been eating into the country’s coffers annually.
The workshop, which was supposed to have been held in March, was moved to November because of Covid-19, saw stakeholders from agriculture and food security, health, water, disaster risk reduction, energy, and tourism and health deliberate the national chain for climate services, create realisation, and drew up a consensus on the urgency to improve, design, co-production, delivery and use of user-relevant climate services.
Zimbabwe lost close to US$750 million through the death of humans, livestock, wildlife and infrastructural destruction following devastating effects of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019.
The workshop discussed the capacity-building needs in terms of mandates, infrastructure and human resources.
“Research has become a key driver for the provision of weather and climate services for the various sectors, that is why we have representation from academia in this workshop,” said Minister Ndlovu.
“Zimbabwe is set to rapidly advance in various facets of our socio-economic development as we implement various strategies towards Vision 2030.
“The Global Framework for Climate Services focuses on five sectors: agriculture and food security, health, water, disaster risk reduction and energy.
“As Zimbabwe, we decided to add tourism to the sectors of focus in our National Framework for Climate Services.”
Minister Ndlovu said tourism was one of the major pillars in the National Development Strategy 1, which is expected to contribute significantly to the attainment of Vision 2030.
“Zimbabwe receives millions of tourists annually and has a number of tourist activities and resources, hence it was deemed fit and relevant to incorporate climate services in our actions in the tourism sector,” he said.
Most World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) member states have come up with their own national framework of climate services tailor made to suit their current climate services, governance issues and varying climate services.
WMO representative Dr Filipe Lucio said there was need for third world countries to have access to science available today to help develop user friendly, relevant and climate services.
Unesco’s regional director and representative for Southern Africa, Professor Hubert Gijzen, who joined the meeting virtually due Covid-19 and other commitments, said climatic change negatively impacted the nation’s agriculture and food security, as the region’s risk reduction systems were weak, hence they needed capacitation
United Nations Development Programme Southern African head of unit for poverty reduction, environment and climate, Ms Anne Mudzara, who also joined the meeting virtually, said her organisation will continue to give support for disaster prevention methods.
“Since 2015, we have partnered the Meteorological Services Department and provided it with automated weather stations in parts, including Matabeleland and Manicaland,” she said.
“We are also going to put 14 other automated weather stations countrywide. Under the green climate fund that we launched last week, we envisage to put 22 weather stations, 10 of which would be automated, while 12 will be low cost stations.”
In her remarks, Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said the province was anchored on agriculture and robust weather and climate monitoring was key to improve the sector.