ECOZI Policy Outcome Statement on the Impact of Climate Change on Education Ahead of COP 26

WE, Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) in partnership with Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition (ZCCC) and Climate Action Network Zimbabwe (CANZIM) with support from PLAN International convened a Virtual Climate Change Advocacy symposium on the 19th of August 2021 with representatives(see Annex 1) from, Girls and Young people representatives, Government line ministries, National mechanisms, Civil society, Media practitioners to deliberate on the impacts of Climate Change on Girls’ and Young People’s (GYP) education and provide a platform for GYP to influence key policy outcomes documents through a policy outcome statement.

RECOGNISING the pivotal role of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and subsequent COP meetings aimed at combating climate change and its impacts; particularly on the girls and young people’s right to education as a result of climate change;

NOTING that the government will develop the draft COP 26 position paper for the Twenty-Sixth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Glasgow under the United Kingdom presidency between 1 and 12 November 2021;

HAVING deliberated during the Pre-COP 26 meetings, we specifically call upon the Zimbabwean government to consider the following in your position paper:

Guiding Principles

  • Recognizing and acknowledging the linkages between UNFCCC with numerous global commitments and agreements that make the linkage between gender equality and climate change. The International Conference on Population and Development (1994), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), and the 2005 World Summit all acknowledged the pivotal role women play in sustainable development.
  • Noting that, gender has been mainstreamed into the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) but less so in the Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) Framework that aligns Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets and SFDRR priorities to the education sector.
  • Acknowledging that at the national level, the government has made progressive national commitments on gender and inclusion by mainstreaming these issues in policy instruments, as well as in strategic plans such as the National Climate Change Response Strategy, National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) 2017, Climate Change Learning Strategy, The Climate Change Communication strategy, The Government of Zimbabwe has integrated Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) principles into both policy and practice. The government, bilateral, humanitarian and private agencies and civil society have also internalized GESI as a cross-cutting issue while formulating plans and programs.

Nationally Determined Contributions

The 33% emissions target for Zimbabwe is ambitious enough and this buttresses our current position that we should be more concerned with adaptation rather than mitigation. The Emission Gap report clearly identifies that the submitted countries NDCs are inadequate in meeting the Paris Agreement below 2°C target but rather 3°C. This evidence calls upon the immediate need for nations especially the developed countries to increase their NDCs target levels especially in light of the 2021 facilitative global stock take meeting.

Submissions by the Line Ministries and other stakeholders

Submissions by the Girls and Young people representatives; Environmental or climatic events that have been destructive to the education sector in Zimbabwe are related extreme events have either directly or indirectly affected the lives of girls and young people: floods and cyclones, drought (most common) destructive winds and heat waves. The most common impacts on girls and young people in vulnerable parts of the country include:

  • Destruction of infrastructure from wind and cyclones – homes, education, health facilities, communication systems
  • Destruction of livelihoods leading to poverty and consequently school drop outs
  • Girls targeted for unpaid care work hence lose opportunity to be in school
  • Access to affordable and efficient energy
  • Water challenges- access to clean water sources
  • Exposure to all forms of abuse, e.g. sexual harassment as the girls and young people strive to access basic needs such as water
  • Submissions by Ministry of Youth, Sports and Recreation; affirms that girls and young people are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, particularly extreme weather events such as droughts, cyclones and floods It bemoans limited participation in climate change issues by young people and people with disabilities

Submissions by The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Hospitality and Tourism; Climate Change Management Department –highlighted that there are a variety of climate change programs that involve the youth; the young people have to identify and use relevant entry points for engagement as climate science experts. The National Policy documents such as the National Climate Change Learning Strategy promote national training and public awareness and participation in climate change knowledge and responses. Guided by the article 6 of the Paris Agreement, of promoting integrated , holistic and balanced approaches that will assist the implementation of NDCs through voluntary international cooperation, the GoZ has put in place mechanisms to (a) promote mitigation and adaptation ambition, (b) enhance public and private sector participation in the implementation of nationally determined contributions, and (c) enable opportunities for coordination across instruments and relevant institutional arrangements. The Ministry thrive to continue strengthening programs that focus on climate youth engagement, resource mobilization and capacity building among the young people

Submissions by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development; advised that there are several opportunities for girls and young people participation especially in renewable energy. Some of them are; forming accredited organizations, which collaborate with the ministry for installation of home and grid scale solar systems; Community based renewable energy projects e.g. biogas projects; assembling of solar heaters locally and tapping into research and development. The available Green Energy Fund caters for the youth and prioritize youth driven projects

Submissions by Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development; noted that the Women Development Fund, the Zimbabwe Community Development Programmes, the Zimbabwe Women Development Bank, the Community Health Clubs, that are currently in place to build a community of girls and young people who are resilient , are not adequate considering the frequency and intensity of climate related disasters; the girls are mostly affected for they do unpaid care work at the expense of their education; girls drop from mainstream education to fill in the gap of livelihood deficiencies because the community looks upon them to provide food and other needs.

What can we do as a nation?

  • Consider a multi-sectoral and coordinated approach towards climate action
  • Climate proof all socio-economic sectors
  • Prioritize adaptation rather than mitigation
  • Explore carbon markets for national benefits
  • Strengthen loss and damage management systems (compensation and restoration)
  • All programming should be disability inclusive and gender responsive
  • Integrate loss and damage considerations into national adaptation planning process and technology needs assessment

Matters related to the Adaptation Fund

  • Climate funds should be focused, clearly noting the diversity of sources of finance
  • The current uptake on adaptation funding should be clearly understood by all relevant entities and the youth dividend should be considered in budgets
  • Climate finance should support concrete projects not just travels for stakeholder
  • Strengthen the adaptive capacity of vulnerable groups such as women, youth and the disabled

Adaptation Communication and the Global Goal on Adaptation

  • Government should have an obligation to asses and disclose foreseeable environmental risks as part of their positive duties to protect, respect and fulfil various human rights, e.g acquiring information through assessments mechanisms and communicate the information to the public
  • Youth need to participate in the coming COP26 virtually

Capacity Development

  • Technology transfer is critical in enhancing the adaptive capacity of Zimbabwe as a developing country. Particular attention and support should be given to appropriate technology that meets the immediate needs of the Zimbabwean populace in accordance with Zimbabwe’s technology needs assessment reports in response to prevailing challenges
  • Training for the vulnerable groups or communities, like the internally displaced populations (IDPs) to identify what they need to cope with the changing climate, recover and also to reduce risks
  • Climate education is an essential tool for peoples to change their attitudes and actions towards effects of climate change
  • Education social transformation –promote a type of curriculum which instils effective social behaviours towards climate change
  • Maximise role of different knowledge systems towards addressing climate change impact

Climate Finance Accounting and Modalities

  • Access to adequate, timely and unconditional climate finances forms the basis upon which climate action can be undertaken. The definition of climate finance should exclude loans that are provided to developing as they promote perpetual debts of future generations but rather should be limited to loans provided in line of the $100 billion per year by 2020 commitment.
  • Biggest polluters should contribute what they pledged and the finance should reach the intended beneficiaries
  • Advocate for climate justice.
  • Need to have clear, concrete targets and roadmaps on climate finance.
  • Develop and finance systems that can respond rapidly to extreme events, such as robust social protection systems.
  • Funding to fight and adapt to climate change should be accessible at all levels.
  • Financial resources – grants rather than loans should be availed.

Gender Action

  • The narrative of climate change in relation to climate change should dwell more on women and youth empowerment and responsive action as opposed to victim portrayal.
  • The Lima Work Program on Gender should continuous feature in discussions given its focus on promoting gender balance, equality and women empowerment.
  • The UNFCCC Gender Action Plan seeks to advance women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and promote gender-responsive climate policy and the mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Convention and the work of Parties, the secretariat, United Nations entities and all stakeholders at all levels.
  • Zimbabwe should call for the action plan to be effectively mainstreamed into climate change negotiations mainstreams and not be treated with a silo mentality and be provided with adequate resources for implementation by the financial mechanism.

Recommendations from key stakeholders

  • The ultimate goal is total empowerment of the girl child in an aspect which affect their everyday lives; most importantly includes social an economic empowerment.
  • Policy reformulation towards gender equality should be considered part of initiatives towards climate changer programmes
  • Inclusivity of young people with disabilities and those in marginalized areas
  • Prioritizing increasing funding for developed countries just like humanitarian action
  • Compensation for the effects to climate change in the affected countries
  • Meet financial pledges by richer countries
  • Resources for technology transfer, and use of new green technologies which emit less

Priorities for Africa at COP 26

  • Ensuring COP 26 delivers a comprehensive and balanced operational guidance on the all the provisions of the Paris Agreement to ensure its effective implementation from 2022, being faithful and true to the spirit of Paris Agreement;
  • Decision at COP 26 to enhanced, adequate and predictable financial resources for African countries post-2021 to implement their mitigation and adaptation actions under the Nationally Determined Contributions

List of participants

  • Girls and Young People Representatives from CAMFED, Rozaria Memorial Trust, PLAN, Zimbabwe Youth Council
  • Honorable Members of Parliament
  • Line ministries (Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation; Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Ministry of Energy and Power Development; Ministry of Finance and Economic Development)
  • Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (Youth Representative)
  • Plan International
  • Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition
  • Climate Action Network Zimbabwe (Youth representative)
  • Senior Environmental Education Officer with EMA
  • Family Bonds Foundation
  • Mukuvisi woodlands Schools
  • Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)
  • Parliament Representative
  • Ministry of Youth, Sports and Recreation
  • Animal welfare and conservancy trust
  • Rural Initiative Approach for Community Development
  • Freedom to the disabled Persons in Zimbabwe
  • Media
  • Freedom to the disabled Persons in Zimbabwe
  • Quadriplegics and Paraplegics Association of Zimbabwe

Source: Education Coalition of Zimbabwe

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