The Sunday Mail
Harmony Agere —
Government has entered into a partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to help the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) gain accreditation to the Climate Adaptation Fund.
This was revealed by acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Ms Catherine Maveneka, during the Zimbabwe-Kenya South-to-South Adaptation Fund high-level meeting in Harare last week.
Announcing the deal in a joint Press briefing with Kenya’s head of delegation, Mr Charles Sunkuli, Ms Maveneka said the development will see EMA become the national implementing entity for this fund in the country.
“The agency is to be accredited to the Adaptation Fund so that it becomes the national implementing entity,” she said.
“Given that the accreditation process is quite stringent and rigorous, this partnership is invaluable to us.”
Ms Maveneka said given its vast experience in climate change issues, Kenya’s mentorship will play a key role in helping EMA get accredited.
“I am glad to let you know that Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources together with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) of Kenya have pledged to assist us in the accreditation process.”
The Adaptation Fund is aimed at assisting developing countries to build resilience and adapt to climate change.
This fund is useful to Zimbabwe as it will support Government’s climate change projects and programmes.
Having a national institution such as EMA accredited to this fund allows Government and other stakeholders to directly access climate finance.
Up until now Zimbabwe had not benefitted from the Adaptation Fund despite being one of the low-income countries most affected by climate change.Mr Sunkuli who is also the principal secretary for Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources said the two governments have targeted to finish the accreditation process within six months.
“The purpose of us coming to Zimbabwe is at the behest of the Adaptation Board to come and mentor the Environment Management Agency of Zimbabwe to be able to walk through the accreditation process that has already been proposed,” he said.
“It (accreditation process) requires intrusive inspection in terms of governance, legal framework, financial management and overall structural systems.
We, in Kenya, have already gone through that process and the Adaptation Fund in its good gesture decided to support us to be able to mentor our good friends in Zimbabwe to be able to walk that path. And we are here to demonstrate that commitment to work together as Kenya and Zimbabwe to finalise the accreditation process over the next six months.”
Mr Sunkuli said due to the level of commitment shown by Zimbabwe the process could be completed before the six months deadline target.
He reiterated that Kenya has huge experiences in environmental issues especially on climate change as they are one of the very few agencies to have been accredited in Africa through NEMA.
EMA spokesperson, Mr Steady Kangata, said relations with their Kenyan counterparts will not end with the completion of the accreditation process. He said the relationship of Zimbabwe and Kenya in environment and climate issues dates back to 1980 when the two countries joined hands to end wildlife poaching in the respective countries.
Mr Kangata expressed confidence that the co-operation of the two countries will be fruitful and will bring desired results given their excellent rapport.
The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and has committed $357,5 million in 63 countries since 2010 to climate adaptation and resilience activities.
The fund is financed in part by governments and private donors, and also from a two percent share of proceeds of certified emission reductions (CERs) issued under the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism projects.
The accreditation process of the Adaptation Fund aims to ensure that the benefitting entity follows fiduciary and safeguard standards while accessing financial resources of the Adaptation Fund.
During the Adaptation Fund’s accreditation process, each type of entity will undergo an assessment to make sure the entity adheres to sound accreditation standards and implements effective social and environmental safeguards.
The assessment also aims to identify any project risks in advance, prevent any harm and improve the effectiveness and sustainability of results.
According to the Adaptation Fund, the accreditation process satisfies five stages namely nomination, application, screening by the Adaptation Fund Board secretariat, review by the Accreditation Panel and Accreditation Panel recommendation.
Zimbabwe is one of the countries which are most affected by climate change. Last year about four million people where left food-insecure after a drought caused by El Nino, a signifier of climate change.
This year over 5 000 homes and millions worth of infrastructure were destroyed by floods, yet another weather event linked to climate change.
Against this background, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate has embarked on the National Adaptation Plan development process which seeks to develop medium to long-term approaches for reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts and facilitating the integration of climate adaptation into ongoing planning processes at national and sub-national levels.