Economy, Opinion

-Media Engagement

In a media engagement held by World Wildlife Fund for Nature in collaboration with other partner organizations HIVOS Zambia, Centre for Environment Justice, The Zambia Climate Change network, House of Ruth Foundation as well as The Zambia community based natural resources management forum. On Wednesday the 27th October, 2021 with Guest of Honor Minister of Green Economy and Environment, MR. Collins Nzovu. This meeting was held to make some proposals and suggestions on what would like to be expected in regards to climate change in the 2022 National Budget, which is to be presented on Friday, 29th October 2021.

The WWF country director Mrs Nachilala Nkombo, opened the meeting with welcome remarks and stated that WWF and partners are expecting a green budget that will set and fund the foundations for building a green economy and a sustainable future for all Zambians. They also expect the sectoral budget to elevate the value of all natural capital assets to drive economic recovery and enhance livelihoods.

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The Honorable Minister, MR Collins Nzovu in his speech stated that the Government has acknowledged that the start point to fight climate change is by planning and allocating resources. In this regard the National budget is a key policy instrument that is effective in outlining key annual priorities of any government. The Budget does not only steer economic growth and Stability but delivers impacts around sustainable development targets.

Climate change is an overarching issue that poses challenges and presents opportunities for attaining inclusive growth, shared prosperity and alleviating poverty in Zambia. That is why when we see stakeholders gather to share openly opportunities to improve our approach to managing the problem, it gladdens the government. The government who will endeavor to support stakeholders by putting in the right policies to promote climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Further the Minister stated that as government settles down, they have recognized limited national budget allocations over time or average 1% towards environmental protection.  The government is committed to addressing the climate change challenge in Zambia which is here to stay and will only intensify in the next few decades. Recognizing the critical and complex short to long term challenges and opportunities posed by climate change, the government has demonstrated leadership with its strong commitment to a comprehensive climate change agenda.

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The government is encouraging Public and private investment in development practices to increase climate resilience and protection against present risks as well as provide socio-economic and environmental benefits, while offsetting future impacts. Investing in low carbon growth may increase the competitive advantage of Zambia and set the country on a more sustainable green growth path. Climate action, especially in the fields of agriculture, infrastructure and energy can create employment opportunities.

Without adequate financing, a green economy will remain elusive and therefore all actors must come together to look at ways of strengthening financing to this sector and he affirmed that the new dawn government is commitment to changing the picture of reaping economic dividends. Zambia should not remain behind I this wind of global political commitment on climate and natural resources issues.

Green finance plays a key role in unlocking jobs but this must be stimulated by stronger economic performances at a country level. Industry plays a critical role in building a green economy and therefore, the budget policy remains central in providing the right kinds of incentives in order for this to happen.

Furthermore, he stated that his ministry is extremely delighted to see a stronger level of accountability by CSOs on the budget policy. In as far as the environmental sector is concerned and pledges its support to addressing funding gaps though the promotion of good governance, strong polices and legal frameworks for the much needed investments and building a culture of environmental compliance for all actors in industry. He also stated that there is commitment to an open door policy for engagement on the 2022 National budget implementations.

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