LUSAKA, Zambia (PAMACC News) – Ahead of COP 22 in less than two months, Civil Society Organisations working on climate related activities in Zambia have been urged to intensify their sensitisation programmes on climate change.
Speaking during the CSO Paris Agreement review meeting in Lusaka, Richard Lungu, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) country focal point in Zambia reminded delegates of their critical role in simplifying the Paris Climate Agreement to the masses.
Lungu, who also announced the recent approval of the country’s climate change policy by cabinet, believes CSOs have a greater responsibility of educating the masses on the implications of the Paris Agreement in their lives.
“Our economy is natural resource intensive,” he said, adding “it is incumbent upon us to make people understand the Paris Agreement provisions and what they mean for the implementation of our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).”
The UNFCCC Zambia Focal Point, who is also the Chief Environmental Officer at the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, said government wants to see an active involvement of CSOs especially in the implementation of the climate change policy.
“Now that we have an agreement in place, COP 22 and beyond is about implementation and requires support in form of ideas from all concerned stakeholders so that Zambia, and Africa in general, continues with its push for a successful implementation of the Paris Agreement,” emphasizedLungu, stressing that Africa remains a vulnerable region to climate change with limited capacity to cope without external support.
Organised by Green Enviro Watch with support from Oxfam Zambia, the CSO meeting was called to deliberate on the linkages between the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of the country’s development agenda.
Adopted in New York in September last year, SDGs have become a foundation on which governments are anchoring their sustainability actions. However public sensitization and awareness has been low, prompting the CSOs to brainstorm and chart the way forward.
“Our goal is to carry everyone on board especially youth and rural populations who are ironically the most affected by policy decisions and/or omissions,” said Abel Musumali, Green Enviro Watch Executive Director.
He said “while Africa continues to push certain demands collectively especially on finance and technology transfer, national circumstances as outlined in the NDC have become a key focus area in the implementation stage of the land mark climate agreement.”
Meanwhile, French Ambassador to Zambia, Emmanuel Cohet implored the CSO representatives to work in partnership with one another not only to strengthen their proposals for support from development partners, but also complimenting each other’s capacities in terms of project implementation.
Cohet assured that his government remains committed to aspirations of the global community as espoused in the Paris Agreement to which France played a key role to achieve.
And in amplifying the role of partnerships, Oxfam Zambia Humanitarian Programme Manager, Teddy Kabunda said there is more to be gained when working in synergies.
“We know that government is making a lot of progress but as civil society, we need to do our part by helping to move climate change matters away from being an exclusive subject to the elite, hence our approach to support CSO networks who are more closer to the community,” stressed Kabunda, pointing out that the importance of ordinary people’s involvement to the actualization of the Paris Agreement cannot be overemphasized.