The government says the effects of climate change have contributed to the slowdown of the country’s economy.
Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu notes that there is need for concerted efforts from government and various stakeholders to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Dr Ng’andu said in order to tackle effects of climate change, the government has become more proactive in ensuring that the agriculture sector becomes more resilient by giving timely information to all farmers on climate forecasts as well as supporting the full implementation of the climate-smart initiatives such as support to conservation agriculture.
ZANIS reports that the Minister of Finance said this in a speech read for him by the ministry’s Controller of Internal Audit Joyce Sundano at the official launch of the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development in Zambia at Intercontinental Hotel.
The Minister stressed that the funds which amount to 166 million euros has come at the right time, considering the apparent effects of climate change that has adversely affected the agriculture, tourism and energy sectors, of Zambia.
He added that the initiative will provide one of the many opportunities for public, private and civil society entities, towards addressing climate risks via bankable solutions.
The fund is envisaged to support business entities working around the Kafue Flats to develop and deliver the sustainable investment that will contribute to the sustainable of the landscape of the country.
Speaking earlier, Dutch Fund for Climate and Development Bankable Water Project Advisor Keiron Brand said his government is looking to invest into a bankable and commercially viable projects that will also help address climate change-related issues.
Mr Brand said the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development will give support to projects in their early stages, to make them investment ready and thereafter hand them over to financial partners.
And World Wide Fund for Nature Country Director Nachilala Nkombo said there was urgent need to provide critical action and respond to the effects of climate change.
Ms Nkombo noted that the Kafue Flats is an economic engine for Zambia, noting that it is near the source of water which is supplied to Lusaka and other areas besides being the source of Zambia’s hydroelectricity.
She noted that climate change has adversely affected the economy of Zambia, affecting water in the rivers and dams which is used for both agriculture and electricity generation, while forcing people to engage in deforestation.
She disclosed that Zambia is losing approximately 300,000 hectares of forest cover, due to charcoal burning which mostly is as a result of lack of power.
The official launch was attended by various stakeholders who included experts in aquaculture officials from the Ministry of Fisheries and Civil Society leaders.