31.01.2010 -

Climate Change Awareness and Dialogue workshop for Parliamentarians

In October, 2009 UNESCO held a workshop on Climate Change Awareness and Dialogue workshop for Parliamentarians in Zimbabwe.

The workshop was held on the backdrop of two previous joint initiatives on climate change by the British Council and UNESCO. The first one was a stakeholders’ workshop which was held at Jameson hotel in February of 2009. The second initiative was a climate change training workshop for media professionals. This particular workshop, the Climate Change Awareness and Dialogue Workshop for Parliamentarians was spurred by the overall objective to create awareness of the climate change and global warming challenges facing the country.

The parliamentarians were targeted for this particular workshop because they are among the law makers of Zimbabwe. Consequently, a greater appreciation of these challenges would positively influence policy formulation in parliament with regards to mitigation and adaptation, and help save a country in great crisis. The need for ‘action now!’ can never be over emphasized as far as climate change is concerned.

Thirty three Members of Parliament and their various assistants from four different portfolio committees attended the workshop. The committees included the Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement committee, the Natural Resources Environment and Tourism committee, the Mines and Energy committee and the Transport and Infrastructural Development committee.  After the opening ceremony, with the highlight being The Greenhouse Effect discussion, there were three more sessions held to discuss various environmental impact issues.

The sessions included Impact of Ozone layer depletion, Climate change impacts and responses, and Climate change and business.In her closing remarks, the permanent secretary Mrs.F.Nhekairo (FN) started by once again tanking everyone present for taking part in the workshop. What started as an awareness dialogue and workshop ended with everyone appreciating the magnitude of the climate change challenge. T

he environmental policy was officially launched on 23 September 2009, and it encompasses other ministries, so any form of communication should be pursued so that information reaches to as many people as possible.

The workshop was able to meet its objectives and was a positive initial step in promoting dialogue and awareness in legislative circles. This will have a trickle down effect to the grassroots, whereby the majority of the Zimbabwean population are rural based and rely on Mother Nature for their livelihood.

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