The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Tourism highlighted that children remained more vulnerable to climate change while calling for their inclusion at an Indaba expected to incorporate findings in a national position paper to be submitted ahead of COP 27 through UNICEF funding in Bulawayo this week.
The Minister explained Climate Change and it’s dire effects as the changes in seasons, unreliable rain patterns as urging the need for planning as Zimbabwe gathers it’s position paper for COP 27 submission.
“Members of the Children and Youth Constituency, you are all aware that we have a climate change problem, Seasons have shifted, rainfall is no longer reliable, there is an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and we really need to plan from an informed perspective and act accordingly.” The Minister of Environment Climate Change and Tourism, Mangaliso Ndlovu said.
The Minister highlighted that the exercise would capture views from Children while preparing for the drafting of a position paper ahead of COP 27.
“Today’s event was organized recognizing the important role played by the Children and Youth Constituency in the climate change agenda. It is our hope that, the engagement will facilitate dialogue and capture views from this Constituency, and these will be considered for inclusion in the country’s position paper towards COP 27 and take forward the climate change, children, and youth agenda forward.”
Minister Ndlovu however felt it disheartening that “While no child or youth is responsible for rising global temperatures, they will pay the highest costs. The children from countries least responsible will suffer the most. While this is the likely reality, there is hope and enough time to act.”
As, “Globally, climate change and environmental shocks are undermining the complete spectrum of children’s rights, from access to clean air, food, and safe water, to education, housing, freedom from exploitation, and even their right to survive.”
Government through the Minister of Environment, Climate and Tourism emphasised that, “Improving children’s access to essential services, such as water and sanitation, health, and education, can significantly increase their ability to survive climate hazards.”
The Minister called to action cross sectoral climate change mitigation adoptations as means to opportune realisations of the broader Paris Agreement calls to action.
“The threat of climate change calls upon us all to transform our ways of doing business in the various sectors such as agriculture, water resources, energy, forestry, and other livelihood activities to ensure that we reduce emissions of greenhouse gases so that our actions can withstand climate shocks such as dry spells, droughts, heat waves and flooding.” The Minister responsible for environmental protection said.
The minister also highlighted that, “governments, the private sector, civil society, and communities are urged to listen to children and prioritize actions that protect them from impacts, while accelerating work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience.”
The meeting was funded by UNICEF who’s Representative in Zimbabwe, Dr. Tajudeen Oyewale, senior Government Officials, the Children and Youth Constituency, Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations, and members of the media were among part of the attendees.