Zim delegation heads for COP25 Climate Change conference in Spain

By Nhau Mangirazi

HARARE– Zimbabwe delegation is in Madrid in Spain for the 25th Conference of the Parties, or COP25, meant to resolve issues on the rules that countries have to follow in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The meeting to kick-start from 2 December will end on 13 December 2019 will become a venue for countries to announce new initiatives to respond to global warming.

Spain is hosting the conference after Chile withdrew on the eleventh hour following protests that has put security of visitors at risk according to President Sebastián Piñera.

However locally, the Zimbabwe delegation will include Zvimba Proportional Representative (PR) Hon Concilia Masuku-Chinanzvavana.

She will be part of team representing Zimbabwe at plenary sessions to be held within the next two weeks.

Hon Masuku-Chinanzvavana is chairperson of parliament portfolio committee on tourism, hospitality and environment where the parent ministry will be officiating proceedings on behalf of the Government.

However, she has noted the impact of climate change on women due to recurring droughts affecting Mashonaland West as Zimbabwe’s breadbasket.

‘Climate change has had a negative impact on women in general as they carry the burden of looking after families and food security has been a challenge at household level,’ she said in interview recently.

Masuku-Chinanzvavana added, ‘Generally, climate change is a reality affecting the agricultural sector that is backbone of our economy,’

However, the world forum is likely to absolve her portfolio committee findings that ‘exposed’ underfunding of environment by finance ministry as it remains neglected while effects of climate change are knocking on the country rainfall patterns affecting food security status in the country and Southern Africa region.

Presenting the committee presentation recently Hon Masuku-Chinanzvavana decried lack of commitment by finance minister for undermining environment by not giving adequate resources to boost work on climate change awareness and tourism sector, one of the country top foreign currency earners.

She presented a ‘hard hitting document’ to the parliamentarians who attended the pre-budget seminar in the resort town of Victoria Falls few weeks ago.

Hon Masuku-Chinanzvavana said it is sad to note that the pre-budget paper that shows direction on national strategic issues but did not mention anything positive on environment issues.

‘The pre-budget paper is strategic on issues of national interests but ironically never mentioned anything about environment management issues. This paints a gloomy picture as it seems climate change issues are not of any importance to the Government,’ she noted.