Our Forests Are Gone; Paris Is the Beginning for Continuous Climate Action. Our Only Hope

by Rodgers Phiri
(Lusaka, Zambia)

The effects are being felt and seen by the Zambian people. The water levels are decreasing in the country resulting in massive load shedding.

The rains are never received at the expected time; the yield from farming is decreasing in each and every year that passes by. Are we going to watch these catastrophes hunt us when we already have the solutions right now?

The answer to the above question is a resounding "no." The Paris Negotiations need to be the start of climate action to reduce the existence of these challenges in Zambia and other countries.

Many nations including Zambia have policies outlining the solutions to climate change, but are we the ones facing the fastest rate of climate change? Our leaders need to answer these questions to help increase the rate of climate change action.

More Action Needed

If the government of Zambia implements budgets for each year, why can’t they do the same with climate change mitigation? The need to put up short-term plans to fight climate change. This should be realized by our leaders because climate change is a problem which is becoming worse in a short period of time.

Climate change has continued to impact negatively on Zambia’s most sensitive sectors and the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable communities.

For instance, the droughts and floods which have increased in frequency and intensity over the last two decades have adversely impacted on food security and the livelihoods of communities. Such impacts have compounded the daunting economic and social challenges the country already faces.

With continuous climate action implementation in the range of five years, Zambia could catch up with the implementation of a well-articulated INDC which could possibly contribute to job creation, poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Cooperating partners, the UN system and UNDP in particular are committed to support the government to achieve this goal.

National Climate Change Response Strategy and Policy

It is encouraging to know that Zambia is taking important steps towards tackling climate change across the country.

The country has developed an innovative overall vision through the National Climate Change Response Strategy and Policy.

The policy is a nationally coordinated and multi-sectorial response to combat climate change in more comprehensive and systematic manner.

The challenge posed on the government now is to speed up the implementation process and formulate National Action Plans in short periods which should be ready for implementation.

2015 May Be the Hottest Year on Record

The temperatures are rising each and every year. According to scientists, 2015 is predicted to be warmer than any other year in history.

It is for this reason that the government and Zambia at large needs to champion the planting of trees to strengthen natural carbon sinkers.

The development projects which Zambia implements are also contributing to climate change, it is for reason that Zambia needs to consider including a climate change action plan section in each and every developmental project.

It is through short term climate resilient and low emission development in line with Zambia’s national development strategies and aspirations of over 13 million people who are adversely affected by climate change impacts.

It is very much reasonable to have short term plans for climate change because it is also changing in the short term. It is something governments have never tried yet short-term changes in climate must be met with short-term action plans in order to reduce changes in the climate thereby improving conditions.

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