By Blutus Mbambi (Young Climate Activist Based in Zambia)
In this journey, I will share some of the required measures we can work on together to combat climate change, for it’s our duty and responsibility as the inhabitants of this beautiful planet to keep our habitat safe and sustainable for our children and our children’s children.
“the shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight and tough decisions are to be made along the way but the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” Barrack Obama
Zambia is one of most climate vulnerable places on Earth, his excellency Mr. Edger Chagwa Lungu, once said “climate change is a big problem that we are facing currently and it has hit Zambia where it pains the most, referring to the energy sector” moving account reminds us all that for so many, the climate crisis is not a distant threat. nor is climate crisis just an environmental issue, it is inseparable from issues of human rights and justice. Climate change is already destroying lives and affecting our stay on earth as it needs urgent actions by everyone. Hence young people in Lusaka are taking actions with an admirable resolute spirit and greater determination. According to the disaster report by the united nations for the coordination of humanitarian affairs some districts in the east, Mambwe, Gwembe and Siavonga districts have been affected by flash floods severe droughts in Zambia. What is this telling us? We have to keep pushing and take the fight against climate change to another level. We have an inspiring opportunity to build the capacity of change in this battle and do what we have failed to do in the past. Zambia is expected to experience heavy rains in the coming seasons, if we don’t act now.
Zambia has 10 provinces, and its facing one of the greatest threats, due to the change in climate, geographically Zambian is a landlocked country surrounded 8 countries which together at large are under the same threat. I have taken keen interest to take this step to do my homework to see how I can contribute and help in the fight against climate and I decided to write a proposal in which I strongly believe are the required actions for the world communities. I believe that our leaders need to listen to our voices as young people, we are being affected by this change in climate and take time to understand and analyze the situation before we put to account what should be done. We speak about climate change, because we already experience its effects and it scares our tomorrow. I may not have statistics, but I have my own eyes and studies have been carried out. We see the changes that are affecting our lives. Every day I wake up, I walk outside the dust streets of Lusaka, the waste and industries are in front of me. Climate change matters to me personally, because climate change is already personal. It is already changing the way I live. Climate change is already taking away what is very precious to me. According to the Disaster Management and Mitigation unit (DMMU) crops have been destroyed by either floods or droughts, threatening food security in the country. The worst since 1992.
The adverse impacts of climate change as a result of its geographical location, the multiple socio-economic stresses it is subjected to, and its low adaptive capacity. According to the study, on the economic impacts of climate change conducted in 2011 by Government a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) loss of about USD 5 Billion over a 10 to 20-year period was estimated. The study estimated that loss of agricultural productivity and its associated effects on poverty levels, the potential impact of an energy crisis related to power generation, the higher costs of treating climate-related diseases such as malaria, and the loss of natural environments which provide critical services to urban, peri-urban, and rural communities are major contributors to GDP loss. It is therefore important to note that Zambia’s socioeconomic well-being and ecosystem is likely to be mainly impacted upon in the following sectors Droughts mean water scarcity. There was a severe drought a few years ago in the northern and eastern communities that resulted in this sort of water scarcity, it left people in desperate need of water, it was a very sad moment for our communities. We also experience short season (the rain fall start late and ending early, much more than before, and there are frequent storms and strong winds taking place here in the western–which is why I feel there is need for climate change required action.
A challenge for me being a young climate activist in Zambia is that I am one of only a few young climate activists here, it feels as though I bear a lot of responsibility believe not everyone believe in taking on climate action as an issue. As a young climate activist people are looking up to me and expecting me to take on the responsibility for all of them. On a practical level, another challenge is simply that I am still attending school! I am in fourth year with one more year of my study to go, so I have to manage my time so I can balance my time in education as well as doing what I can to take climate action.
At school in Lusaka I have been taking steps of my own in my community., I am reaching out to the local schools and on social media to share my passion for taking climate action. In most schools I get to speak about the required action and tell most of my young peers here why they should stand up for climate action. Climate action in Zambia might seem to play a very small role, but I tell them it is still important that we do what we can to save the earth. I also spread awareness, on social media and educating and sharing ideas on climate change required actions and why young people should act in their communities. I was also able to participate on projects implementation. I was one of the students who introduced the environmental society in school calling for future leaders to act more seriously and sincerely on climate change. Let our action speak louder, the evidence is clear. However, to the nature of the science not every detail can be settled.
Sustainable development goals, acting to combat climate change and its impacts and co2 level and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and saving lives and livelihoods requires urgent actions to address both the pandemic and climate actions, in order to ensure effective and sustained greenhouse gas inventory the GHGs, the government, parties and system should be implementing the required actions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. According to Paris Agreement adopted (2015) the main aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping global temperature use well below 2 degrees above pre- industrial level and strengthen countries abilities to deal with the impact of climate change
The following required actions measures should be implemented in key sectors of the economy and save our nature and support them in their efforts.
To promote and encourage the investments in climate-resilient and low carbon development pathways in order to generate co-benefits and provide incentives for addressing climate change more effectively.
This will help to sustain land use planning to protect key ecosystems and related services such as carbon sinks Ensure that investments adhere to sustainable development principles and are in line with low-carbon development principles. Reduce forest degradation and loss of forest ecosystems;
Capacity Building; To strengthen the institutional and efficiently address all aspects of climate change at, national, provincial, district and local levels.
By involving stakeholder’s participation and partnerships that integrate climate change in natural resources management at all levels; and Enhance the capacity of rural economies to diversify, this will be promoting alternative income-generating activities that are climate-resilient (able to recover quickly from difficult conditions), and capacity building in climate change response actions;
Enhance the monitoring and review of the effectiveness of capacity-building programs; Promote consideration of gender aspects and the role and needs of youth and persons with disabilities in capacity-building activities; this will promote public education and awareness to enhance the capacity to address climate change;
Build capacity in developing innovations and technologies and adoption and utilization of external technologies; by Strengthen the capacity of local technological innovation centers to help strengthen institutional technology generation and transfer through a learning-by-doing approach.
To foster research and development in order to improve understanding and decision making in responding to climate change and other environmental issues
Promoting research and development (R&D) to address climate change/ variability in all sectors; in the use of prediction models and technologies to determine regional vulnerability of the sectors to climate change;
Support higher learning and research institutions on climate related applied research; and Facilitate research, development and demonstration of new climate-friendly technologies for mitigation and adaptation.
To promote communication and dissemination of climate change information to enhance awareness and understanding of its opportunities and impacts on the communities by facilitate climate change advocacy, communication and awareness; and Strengthen climate change education, training and public awareness at all levels; let us Promote involvement of local authorities and traditional leaders in climate change education, public awareness including the use of indigenous knowledge
To engender Climate Change programs and activities in order to enhance gender equality and equity in the implementation of climate change programs. Promote gender differentiation and implementation of gender-specific measures on climate change; however, this will improve the participation of women, youth and children in climate change programs; and Promote gender equity in access to climate finances.
To develop and promote appropriate technologies and build national capacity to benefit from climate change technological transfer
promotion of access to affordable environmentally sound technologies; and identification and utilization of available climate-friendly technologies for mitigation and adaptation that meet low-carbon and climate-resilient development needs; establishment and strengthening of climate technology centers/networks;
Promotion of Green job Investment and sustainable growth
This will Promote investments in renewable energy resource development and increase the proportion of renewable energy in the total energy mix;
- b) Provide incentives for low emission technologies;
- c) Promote investments in non-motorized modes of transport (NMT), and d) Promote environmentally friendly investments in all relevant sectors.
To promote mainstreaming of climate change into policies, plans and strategies at all levels in order to account for Climate Change risks and opportunities in decision making and implementation.
- a) Strengthen effective mainstreaming of climate change, response and sustainable recovery from climate-related disasters;
- b) Promote Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) as a tool for integration of low emission principles;
- c) Promote mainstreaming of gender into all climate change programs;
- d) Facilitate mainstreaming of climate change into school curriculum;
- e) Develop and implement codes and standards to promote adaptation and mitigation in infrastructure development; and Promote integration of climate change considerations by Local Authorities
1)invest in sustainable solution (polluter must pay for their pollutions
I think that the voices of our Zambian communities are not listened to enough. Maybe it is because big countries or world leaders of large countries across the world think we are useless because we are very small? Maybe they think we are too small to listen to? Yet, it is us who are on the frontline of climate change.
People let us continue to fight for climate change required action as climate change is not stopping. Its effects are increasing every day. Climate change will play a big role in destroying the future of our children, all of our children, and the children of future generations. If we take action today, while climate change will not go away it could still reduce to a significant level allowing us to live and prosper, we could still live a sustainable life.
If you insult me, I will let people judge you, but if you talk to me, I will call you in and we talk with these guys. It is about dialogue. He said, solutions lie in implementing whatever you agreed upon .no matter how unpalatable. You have to bite the bullet. Lungu said. DR