British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson Tuesday commended Zimbabwe’s response to the climate crisis but expressed concerns over the vulnerability of the Southern African nation to extreme weather changes due to climate change.
Zimbabwe, represented by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is one of the 100 countries that signed up today for the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use.
The declaration seeks to protect forests and put a ban on deforestation by 2030.
The ongoing COP26 summit in Glasgow is also thriving to find solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change around the world. It comes at a time when most countries, especially those in the developing world, are reeling from the severe effects of the climate crisis.
Ambassador Robinson said Zimbabwe remains vulnerable to the ever-growing threats instigated by climate change hence the summit presents an opportunity to showcase efforts being made in the fight against the crisis.
“President Mnangagwa is among more than 120 world leaders who are attending the world leaders’ summit at COP26 in a Scottish city of Glasgow. We saw just how vulnerable Zimbabwe was to climate change during cyclone Idai and this is a really great opportunity for Zimbabwe to get its voice heard and to demonstrate its ambition to tackle climate change along with the rest of the world,” Ambassador Robinson said.
She stated that Zimbabwe has made significant strides in protecting its forests through strict environmental policies.
“Tuesday is forests day at the summit, we’re glad Zimbabwe has, like the UK, made real commitments to tackling deforestation, protecting trees and woodlands is key to tackling climate change and protecting biodiversity.
“Zimbabwe has already committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 which is a really positive step that contributes to achieving that aim. We will all need to build on and see through these commitments,” she added.
In his presentation to world leaders, President Mnangagwa noted that vulnerable countries must be capacitated to mitigate adapt and build resilience to climate change.
“The expectation is that major emitters will scale up mitigation action and show great interest in adaptation. Decisions at this COP26 should strengthen the implementation of current nationally determined contributions.
“It is further imperative that the said emission reduction targets are incurred on supporting, financing and equipping countries to gradually and sustainably migrate from fossil to renewable energy,” Mnangagwa said.
Tuesday’s event saw 12 country and philanthropic donors pledging at least $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) to protect the forests of the Congo Basin.
This is the area home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, which is critically important to global efforts to address climate change as well as to sustainable development in the region.
14 countries and philanthropic donors also pledged at least $1.7 billion from 2021 to 2025 to advance Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ forest tenure rights and support their role as guardians of forests and nature.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated that there needs to be a stop to the loss of forests if the battle against climate change is to be won.
“We can’t deal with the devastating loss of habitats and species without tackling climate change, and we can’t deal with climate change without protecting our natural environment and protecting the rights of indigenous people who are its stewards,” Johnson said
Johnson stressed the particular significance of £5.3 billion ($7.2 billion) of private investment in the pledge in “supporting sustainable jobs”-alongside £8.75 billion ($12 billion) of public funds.
“As we sign this declaration today, let’s also galvanize a radical shift in public and private finance. Let’s channel funds towards securing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities,” he said.