Zimbabwe Succesfully Celebrates World Merit Day

Zimbabwe has joined other countries in succesfully commemorating World Merit Day which was running under the theme Youth and Climate Change, a move aimed at conscientising the youth on the importance of safeguarding the environment.

The event held in the capital on the 24th of July was graced by officials from the Ministry of Environment, Water & Climate ,Environmental Management Agency, members of the media fraternity and school children.

By Shyline Guvakuva and Stephen Denga

World Merit is a platform for young collaborative global citizens trying to make a positive impact in the world.

Zimbabwe like many other countries in the world is affected by the impacts of the long term shift in weather patterns which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity, these in turn cause global warming leading to changes in the climate system in addition o natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

“It is important for youths to understand the topical issues of climate change and how it can be tackled .It is a change in global climate patterns apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards. Today’s atmosphere contains 42% more carbon dioxide than it did before he industrial era”, said an official from, Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

“Such climate change impacts could have unpredictable environmental, social and economic consequences .Effects of climate change have resulted in significant reductions in crop yields, increased incidents of livestock diseases like trypanosomiasis and reduced availability of freshwater resources.

“Climate change can affect human health and wellbeing for example increases in moulds and pollen due to warmer temperatures could also cause respiratory problems such as asthma for some people”, said Kudzai Didzano an official.

Zimbabwe as a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is obliged to comply with the guidelines of the Convention through annual reporting to the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC in the form of National Communications. The idea being to report on what the country is doing in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.

According to a report from the Ministry of Environment Water and Climate { Climate Change Management Department},the Ministry is rounding up consultations towards the development of a National Climate Policy to be launched by 2016.

He added that the Ministry together with its stakeholders and development partners completed the development at all levels through multi-stakeholder engagements.

The department of Climate Change Management has taken on board programs to conscientise the youths on climate change issues through schools’ debate .

“so far debates have been held in Marondera district and Hwange, awareness activities are planned and will include awareness raising and education on climate issues at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show focusing on agriculture”,said Didzano.

The Global Environment Facility in partnership with UNDP are also supporting programmes on scaling adaptation and intergrating climate into the national planning process.

Apart from the real projects in renewable energy and food security,initiatives like bio-digesters and Climate Smart Agriculture respectively have been called for. Zimbabweans have also been urged to reduce their individual carbon footprint through such simple actions like participating inthe ‘switch off switches’ campaignes and efficient use of water in homes.

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