Zim, Sweden engage on climate financing Ambassador Raphael Faranisi

Africa Moyo in SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt

The re-engagement drive that the Second Republic is spearheading, was taken to the United Nations Climate Summit underway in Egypt, with senior officials from Zimbabwe and Sweden meeting to exchange notes on climate financing.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi met with Sweden’s head of section, climate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Dag Sjoogren.

The engagement occurred at the Swedish Pavilion.

In an interview after the meeting, Mr Sjoogren said: “We discussed challenges of COP27 including climate finance not released, related to adaptation finance.”

On his part, Ambassador Faranisi said they exchanged views on how effective the Global Climate Funds and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund, have been in terms of assisting Zimbabwe in addressing climate issues.

The GEF aims to help developing countries and economies in transition contribute to the overall objective of the Rio Conventions including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to mitigate climate change, while enabling sustainable economic development.

“So the Swedish wanted to hear from us how effective it has been, and where they can also come in and make some interventions through assisting us by way of technical support,” said Ambassador Faranisi.

“We also talked about how we can sustain those programmes because while technical partners can give us so much by way of financial resources, the pockets are not that deep so we also have to find ways of sustaining those programmes.

“We also briefed them that for the first time in our history, all line ministries, Government and Government departments have been asked to mainstream climate issues into their budgets. So, they committed to assisting us in ways they can through the global funds and through the Swedish Fund.”

Ambassador Faranisi said essentially, the meeting was aimed at exchanging notes and enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

Apart from the engagement with Sweden, it was a hectic first week at COP27 for Zimbabwe’s representatives.

On Saturday evening, Ambassador Faranisi was a panellist during a side event organised by Unicef.

The meeting also had youth speakers from Kenya, DRC and Zimbabwe, which was represented by Christabel Mhiribidi, a student at the Midlands State University.

Other speakers were Zambian Minister of Green Economy and Environment and Malawi’s Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka.

Ambassador Faranisi said Zimbabwe has various programmes to support young people in the fight against climate change.

Christabel praised President Mnangagwa for initiating the National Environment Cleaning Day, which takes place every first Friday of each month.

She said a clean environment helps reduce the impact of climate change.

Christabel also saluted the initiative by the Government to expose primary school children to literature on climate change, with the recent Grade 7 examinations having questions on climate change.

Officials from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, also had a side event at the Zimbabwe Pavilion where they invited investors to take up opportunities in the agriculture sector, including reviving irrigation schemes.

Zimbabwe is targeting to rehabilitate 5 700 hectares by December next year, to benefit over 27 500 households across four provinces that experience the most erratic rainfall.

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