17 July 2012

Mozambique: Climate Change Funding Discussed in Maputo

Photo: Irina Fuhrmann
Cheikh Tijani lives on a plain that should be used as pasture for animals, but lack of rain means the pasture is scarce.

Maputo — By the end of this year, Mozambique will have a National Climate Change Strategy, which will include the strategic objectives the country hopes to attain to make it more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

According to the Permanent Secretary of the Environment Ministry, Mauricio Xerinda, the strategy seeks to endow the country with opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to achieve sustainable development - that is, development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations

Xerinda was speaking at the opening on Tuesday of a National Seminar on Climate Change Funding, attended by government institutions, donors, financial institutions and civil society organisations.

"Climate change has ceased to be seen as something that only affects the environment", said Xerinda. "It affects all the key sectors of socio-economic development, notably agriculture and food security, human health, sanitation, livestock, forestry, trade, water resources, tourism, and fishery resources".

Mozambicans, he added, are called upon "to identify the measures and resources needed to make our agriculture resistant to climatic shocks, to protect water resources, to make our infrastructures more robust so that they are not destroyed when storms, cyclones and floods occur, to protect our coastline from sea level rise, and to ensure that communities receive timely information about the occurrence of extreme events".

The two day seminar, he said, was an opportunity to look at global funding to deal with climate change, particularly the recently approved Green Climate Fund. It would also learn from "the innovations and experience of other countries in planning, access to and mobilization of funds for climate change, with the involvement of the government and the various cooperation partners".

For his part, the Director of the Maputo office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Jocelyn Mason, said that the UN "recognises and encourages the government's efforts to introduce policies and strategies aimed at reducing poverty, and promoting sustainable and inclusive development".

Like other countries, Mozambique "faces challenges in identifying appropriate funds for rapid and flexible access, and to develop mechanisms that monitor and assess their results", he said.

So that the country could benefit from new financing mechanisms, such as the Green Climate Fund, "greater attention should be paid to increasing the capacity to absorb the funds", urged Mason. It was also crucial to ensure "effectiveness and sustainability in implementing adaptation and mitigation measures, including attracting and directing private sector investments".

The UNDP, has said, "has embarked on helping Mozambique develop national capacities to plan, accede to, monitor and report on climate change funding allocated effectively to the country".

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