Monday, March 30, 2009

Zambia Invited to Lead Regional Climate Change Position

March 30, 2009

COMESA Secretary General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya has Invited Zambia’s Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources to lead in the Regional Climate Change position. This invitation was done when Ngwenya paid a visit to the Ministry on Wednesday 25th March 2009, where he held discussion with Zambian Minister for Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources Ms Catherine Namugala.

Secretary General Ngwenya pointed out that COMESA has embarked on a Climate change programme, and Zambia as the host was on the priority pilot list for its implementation. He invited Minister Namugala to play a leading role in the promotion of the regional climate change position.

Mr Ngwenya observed that as the region prepares for the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled for 7-18th December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, there is need for coherent regional and if possible African position, with the view to ensure that our interests are fully catered for.

He further informed the minister of joint coordination being carried out by Regional Economic communities (RECs) to mitigate climate change initiatives, pointing out that the Kyoto protocol was designed without involving our countries and therefore focusing on the benefit of the industrialized North. “We therefore need to be better prepared as we head to Copenhagen said Mr Ngwenya.

Zambia Invited to lead Regional climate change position Receiving the Secretary General, Minister Namugala expressed concerned that most African countries including Zambia were still not fully aware of the serious threats that climate change posed to people’s livelihoods and sustainable development.

The Minister stressed the need to create awareness of the social, economic and environmental implications that climate change posed and the urgency for action in terms of implementing, adapting and mitigating measures which should enlist public participation up the grassroots level.

She concurred with the COMESA Secretary General on the need for African countries to speak with one voice in negotiating favourable interventions like carbon trading that would help address the problem of climate change while supporting development initiatives in developing countries.

She called for the adoption for common stand by developing countries to be used in negotiating for a better deal such as expansion of clean mechanism development.