By Tendai Guvamombe

Youths from all corners of the country have had a chance to weigh in their recommendations towards the enhancement of the countrys Nationally Determined Contribution on Climate Change. Young people among other societal groups are now finding a space in the current NDC enhancement process which is aiming to make the NDCs economy wide and inclusive of all stakeholders.

Youth involvement will allow them to unlock opportunities and recommend actions in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sectors of Agriculture Forest and Other Land Use(AFOLU), Industrial Processes and Product Use(IPPU), Waste and Energy.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) is currently holding Provincial Youth Consultations on NDC Implementation in the country. The main output of the consultations is a national youth position paper with recommendations for consideration in the enhancement process.

Addressing a Combined NDC Youth Consultation for Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central Provinces held in Bindura from 16th-17th April 2021, Climate Change Management Department Deputy Director, Kudzai Ndidzano said youths stands a chance to explore sound opportunities in the green economy set up.

“The current NDCs enhancement process presence a potential for unpacking opportunities in key sectors such as green jobs in the energy sector. Youths can tap into renewable energy technologies, coming up with various innovations in the Waste sector, manufacture environmental friendly machines in the IPPU sector and also venturing into sustainable livelihoods to protect nature whilst contributing to the AFOLU sector. This can only be possible if young people are aware of the current NDC enhancement process and are fully engaged through consultations,” reiterated Ndidzano.

In an interview with African Youth Initiative on Climate Change Programs Manager, Elizabeth Gulugulu Machache expressed positive sentiments on the stance taken by the government in paving way for nationwide youth consultations on the NDC enhancement process. She further said Zimbabwe is among few countries to factor in youth participation on the NDC work.

“This is a very huge milestone for the youths in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. Not all youths have been consulted in their countries NDCs processes, if they did the process might not have been inclusive for example in some countries they have done Virtual Consultations which have a lot of gaps in terms of internet connection, access to smart phones and laptops.”

“The Consultations we are doing have engaged the rural and urban youths I know we could have doubled the participants attending if it wasn’t for COVID-19 WHO guidelines. We are so grateful to the Climate Change Management Department under MECTHI and UNDP for putting an extra effort to make sure all youths voices from all corners of the country are heard in the NDCs enhancement process.”

In another interview with Mr Tatenda Mutasa, a Climate Change Scientist with the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry the consultation process was explained. The consultations started with youths in Matebeleland Provinces followed by youths in Manicaland Province then Consultations with youths of Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West Provinces. Mr Mutasa said the last engagement will take place in Harare with youths of Harare, Midlands, Mashonaland East and Masvingo Provinces. We dont want to leave any youths behind, the process is inclusive of all youths, everyone should be part of the process, said Mr Mutasa. “We are considering incorporating issues to do with Women, People with Disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly, the process is inclusive,” he added.

The NDC Youth Position Paper with recommendations for consideration will be ready by Mid-May and it will be forwarded to the committee working on the NDC enhancement process. The revised NDC will be communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by mid-year.

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