Why Zimbabwe will welcome CCDA 5 with fervor

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 15 October 2015 (ClimDev-Africa) – This year’s annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa, the biggest climate change event of the continent, convenes at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe from 28-30 October 2015.

The 5th CCDA comes at the time when several voices have been raised as to the very future  the  mighty Victoria Falls because of the toll climate impacts appears to be taking on one of the  longest waterfalls in the world.

But this is not the main reason why the Government of Zimbabwe has thrown its full weight behind the Conference, explains Mr. Washington Zhakata, Director of Climate Change in the Ministry of Climate, Water and Sustainable Development.

“The Government is giving this conference the highest priority, not just because it has a clear understanding of the negative impacts that climate change has on its national development, but more so because of the firm conviction of the government that African perspectives need to inform the global response to climate change”, says Mr. Zhakata.

This explains why the government will be represented at the opening session by the Vice President of the Republic.

Appreciating the importance accorded CCDA 5 in Zimbabwe, the chair of the technical preparatory committee, Dr. James Murombedzi, Senior Governance Expert at ACPC says that the Victoria Falls Conference comes during a watershed year in global climate negotiations and its content and outcomes will impact Africa’s position on climate change for the next several years.

The conference will end less than two weeks to the opening of COP21 in Paris where governments of more than 190 nations will gather in Paris to discuss a new global agreement on climate change – a global framework for climate governance – that will replace the so-called Kyoto Accord.

According to Murombedzi, this agreement is hugely important in the history of climate governance and CCDA 5 will “seek to make concrete scientific contributions on what Africa needs to do, especially now that it is agreed across Africa that action ought to be taken now, not later”.

He reveals that in Zimbabwe, CCDA 5 will aim at two interrelated objectives: review the performance of Article 2 of the UNFCCC and to contribute towards a climate agreement in Paris that will control emissions and provide for sustainable development in Africa in the post Kyoto Protocol era.  Article 2 of the UNFCCC sets out the Convention’s objective of controlling global warming within acceptable limits; while at the same time ensuring equitable and sustainable development.

“The anticipated outcome will be a better understanding of how Africa can contribute to an effective post Kyoto climate response framework” he explains.

The Climate for Development (ClimDev-Africa) Programme has designed CCDA 5 as a scientific conference of African policy makers, researchers, civil society organizations to provide answers to those development problems of the continent in a climate changing environment.

Murombedzi says a total of 120 sound scientific papers and presentations on 6 key development areas, including climate science, climate governance, renewable energy, climate finance, gender and sustainable development, are ready for Victoria Falls.

Issued by ClimDev-Africa