THE church’s commitment to work with Government in addressing the effects of climate change through fostering policy dialogue and implementing adaptation strategies will ensure unity in fighting the adverse effects of the scourge.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri applauded the Ecumenical leaders for engaging Government to unpack the outcomes of the France COP21 and find solutions to assist people affected by climate change in Zimbabwe.
She was speaking at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches in Harare last week.
In a speech read on her behalf by Environment Water and Climate deputy director, Veronica Jakarasi, Minister Muchiguri Kashiri said the churches’ efforts will help influence climate change policy formulation and mitigation initiatives.
Last year, Minister Muchinguri Kashiri lead a team to the COP21 in France where some European countries’ bias against Zimbabwe was exposed after the country was sidelined from climate change funding because of its sour relations with some Western countries.
“The church broadly echoed the positions adopted by the Government of Zimbabwe and the Africa Group. Hence, this clearly demonstrated to us that the church is indeed a crucial ally in our efforts to tackle climate change,” she said.
“My Ministry is aware of the role the church is playing. This was demonstrated by their efforts when they called for a fair and equitable deal on climate change through popular mobilisation, petitions, pastoral letters as well as engagement with political leaders around the globe to come up with a fair and just Paris Agreement.
“The consensus acknowledges that climate change is occurring due to human actions where human beings have become a force of nature and are changing and altering the flow of matter and energy on the planet.
Minister Muchinguri Kashiri acknowledged that the church is key in emphasising the stewardship of resources as well as justice around climate change issues.
Speaking at the same meeting, ZCC acting secretary-general, Mr Gabriel Manyangadze said the church would work tirelessly until the climate change issue is resolved fairly.
He said ZCC had partnered three other Christian umbrella bodies – Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop Conference – to form an Ecumenical that will seek solutions to address the adverse effects of climate change.
“As the church, we will approach different offices and different groups that can assist us as a nation to have unconditional support or compensation for the bad effects that are being caused by climate change. “We will create communication strategies between the people and the stakeholders as well as liaise with Government to normalize its political relations with other nations so that people will also benefit from this global climate change compensation.
Mr Manyangadze said climate change effects are being felt not only in Zimbabwe, but in southern Africa and it is unjust to put compensation conditions for the country.
“As of last week, the church launched the national prayer week which was spearheaded by Vice President Phelekezela Mpoko,” he said.
“At the launch, the church was quite specific. We would want to collect information from different parts of the country so that we will have a clear picture of the kind of interventions that we can propose to the Government,” Mr Manyangadze said.
He added that ZCC will contact various stakeholders locally and outside the country to assist people in the wake of the imminent food shortages that are eminating from the sporadic rainfall.
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