Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Ms. Jean Kapata has directed officials in her delegation to follow up on the resolutions of the just-ended 23rd Conference of Parties, COP23, on Climate Change held in Bonn, Germany. Describing the conference as a success, the Minister said Zambians must soon begin to reap the benefits arising from the resolutions passed.
‘’On Financing, the German government has pledged 50million euros; in the agricultural sector, a program has been agreed that will help Zambia attain food security despite climate change; countries have also agreed to speed up modalities on the implementation of the Paris Agreement”, the Minister said.
On the sidelines of the Conference, the Minister attended a number of meetings that have resulted in pledges of support to Zambia’s efforts to adapt and mitigate the impact of Climate change. She engaged Global Water Partnership who have pledged to scale up support to Zambia’s climate change programs by facilitating the production of a strategy for resource mobilization.
Ms. Kapata also attended a meeting at which UNDP launched a program intended to help countries implement their commitments to Climate Change technically dubbed “Nationally Determined Contributions”, NDCs. Other meetings included those attended by Malawi and Tanzania to explore possibilities of accessing German support for a regional program intended to help farmers.
At one breakfast meeting called by scientists on biodiversity, a meeting attended by several Ministers and one Head of State, Ms. Kapata said the Zambian government has pledged to see one million trees planted.
“We are pursuing this program of tree planting and encouraging every Zambian – from the top leadership on down – to do the same”, the Minister said. Her last sideline engagement was a dinner organized by the Jewish Fund interested in supporting a variety of programs.
‘’The conference has been a success and I have no doubt that Zambia stands to benefit. I now wish to direct officers in my delegation to ensure that they follow up on these initiatives so that the country can benefit and improve our people’s livelihoods who are affected by Climate Change”, Ms. Kapata said.
The Minister led a delegation that included her Permanent Secretary Trevor Kaunda and his National Planning counterpart Chola Chabala. The team of negotiators included officials from the Ministry of Lands, Justice, Agriculture and National Planning. These were joined in by representatives from civil society.
The 23rd Conference of Parties was held under the auspices of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, UNFCC and presided over by the Island nation of Fiji. The next COP, which will be the 24th Conference of Parties will be hosted by Poland in 2018 where guidelines agreed on the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change will be finalized.