By Tendai Guvamombe(Bulawayo)

Zimbabwe’s national priorities, actions, polices and approaches to climate change resilience will now have a reflection of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Resilience Framework. This comes at a time when the country is currently in the phase of implementing its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and moving towards the completion of National Adaptation Plan.

The efforts will ensure and enhance National Resilience Building in line with provisions provided for by the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

COMESA is the largest economic regional bloc in Africa with Member States spread across Africa. It has obligations to guide Member States on various key issues of economic development. Specifically, on Climate Change it has obligations to spearhead structural adjustments for resilience building in the region.

In line with this background, COMESA Representatives and key stakeholders in Zimbabwe’s Climate Change and related sectors gathered in Bulawayo from 22-23 August for a consultative meeting that facilitated the alignment of the draft National Adaptation Plan and NDC Implementation Framework’s priority actions with the COMESA Regional Resilience Framework (RRF).

Climate Change Stakeholders at COMESA Consultative Meeting in Bulawayo

COMESA Climate Change Officer, Mr Lwembe Mwale, reiterated that the Regional Bloc in collaboration with UNDP are committed to strengthen Member States’ ability to enhance and strengthen National Resilience Building through the development of Regional Resilience Framework (RRF).

“Climate shocks and stresses continue to affect the COMESA Region and it is for that reason that COMESA in collaboration with the UNDP Regional Office supported it’s Member States to develop the Regional Resilience Framework(RRF) to enhance and strengthen National Resilience Building efforts of our Member States.”

He also commended efforts made by the Government of Zimbabwe towards National Resilience Building.

“COMESA attaches great importance to work being done in Zimbabwe Vis-A-Vis Resilience. The Resilience Building interventions are also a catalyst to achieve the targets set in the NDC of Zimbabwe. Therefore, we are delighted as COMESA to support the Government of Zimbabwe to achieve the National Adaptation and Mitigation goals and ambitions.”

Zimbabwe is part of other Member States that participated in the development of the Regional Resilience Framework(RRF). This has also seen Member States making efforts to domesticate the COMESA- RRF.

Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary for Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Ambassador Raphael Faranisi in a speech read on his behalf by Director of Climate Change Management Department(CCMD), Mr Washington Zhakata, said efforts to align national priority areas with COMESA Regional Resilience Framework resonates well with the implementation phase of Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plan and other climate-related policies and strategies. He added that the approaches will contribute towards future funding mechanisms.

“The meeting deliberated on how we can align the COMESA Regional Resilience Framework as we are now in the implementation phase of the NDCs as well as the finalization of the National Adaptation Plan which is expected to completed before the end of the year. This process will ensure that our national priorities, actions, polices and approach to climate change resilience are in the Regional Framework for possibilities of future funding.”