By Tendai Guvamombe
“As the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second largest (greenhouse gas) emitter … the United States of America not only recognises our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it,” says Barrack Obama Former US President at World Economic Forum 2015.
For technical experts on the UNFCCC Roster of Experts, Climate Jargons are their daily bread, when they sleep they dream terms such as mitigation scenarios, GHG Emissions, Economy Wide NDCs, Fourth National Communication, Biannual Updates, Low Emissions Development Strategy and the hilarious green inventory management systems.
The terms are not only flowery in intuition but baffling to impede one’s ability to translate what is incomprehensible.
Over recent times it has come to the attention of technical experts that whenever they try to communicate to general populace, the more they will be communicating to themselves.
This has been the scenario as far as 1979 when Climate Change issues were being subjected to empirical discussions at World Climate Conference in USA. The ball continued to find it’s way in the small corridors of environment circles way into 1990s with the first Conference of Parties held in Berlin Germany 1995.
A local survey conducted by this publication in 2022, revealed that ordinary people became cognoscenti of Climate Change after learning of Cyclone Idai, a phenomenon that ravaged eastern parts of the Zimbabwean Plateau.
When Zimbabwe ratified the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change of 2015, the generality of citizens either new nothing or may have dismally failed to grasp it’s relevance.
The aftermath of Cyclone Idai superseded by flash floods in Binga, Hwange and the dry spells in Buhera saw many people based in down trodden areas, starting to awaken in the face of Climate Vagaries.
Another survey conducted by Early Day on people’s perceptions on Climate Change in Chivhu shows that many people now believes that climate change is real but lacks the fundamental attributes in general.
The survey also shows that the greater proportion of farmers in Chivhu are out of context with terms such as “Climate change mitigation” and “Climate Change Adaptation” unless vernacular language is applied in context.
When Climate Change Management Department (CCMD) descended in Chivhu sometime in 2021 this news crew made a follow-up making interviews with local communities around the pertaining subject.
Learnmore Mufamba Chivhu Councillor Ward 8 under Chikomba West Constituency told Spotlight Global News that farmers were ready to engage in tree planting projects with Forestry Commission. This is despite communities lacking technical knowledge around climate change mitigation.
“People are ready to plant many trees. This is a huge project which people in Chivhu can venture into. These are great opportunities for our people in Chikomba District.”
Most communal farmers in Zimbabwe are in direct practice of Climate Smart Agriculture popularly known as “Pfumvudza”. While a lot of work has been done to raise awareness under Government Programme on Pfumvudza, the majority of farmers seem to be more concerned about the need to strengthen food security rather than the benefits that comes with climate mitigation.