SADC PF regional workshop on climate resilience set

Moses Magadza

The SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF), in collaboration with its partners, will this week convene a regional workshop on “Fostering Sustainable Futures: Integrating Climate Resilience in Southern Africa.”

At least 50 delegates are expected to attend the two-day workshop from 9 to 10 July in Windhoek.

The SADC PF is organising the workshop in partnership with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

Rachel Mundilo, the Programme Manager for the SADC PF’s Standing Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources (FANR), said the workshop aligns with strategic Goal 4 of the new SADC PF Strategic Plan (2024-2028), which seeks to successfully implement parliamentary initiatives that contribute to addressing climate change.

The goal aligns with strengthening legislative frameworks that promote climate change action, mainstreaming gender and key populations, enhancing capacity-building programs on climate justice and governance to raise MPs’ awareness, and promoting investments in renewable energy and sustainable land and water management.

The workshop happens when SADC countries are facing increasing vulnerability to climate change, making prioritising holistic and climate-resilient pathways paramount, rooted in equitable and sustainable use of natural resources.

The organisers note in a statement that despite the SADC region’s abundance of natural resources, it bears the brunt of climate emergencies. Therefore, it is imperative that everyone, including parliamentarians, participate in shaping appropriate responses.

The workshop aims to strengthen parliamentary action by supporting capacity development to promote climate resilience and ecosystem conservation.

It also seeks to ensure that the benefits derived from the exploitation of natural resources in the region benefit everyone, including the most vulnerable, particularly women and children, and that those benefits contribute to resilient responses to climate change.

Expectations are that the workshop will provide a platform for parliamentarians from across the SADC region to engage with subject-matter experts on a range of issues.

These issues include the state of climate change response since the first report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), nearly a decade after the first Conference of the Parties (COP).

Other issues on the agenda are innovative policy approaches and legislative frameworks that promote climate resilience and ecosystem conservation.

The importance of community engagement and sustainable development, the environmental impact of extractive industries (focusing on critical minerals and raw materials), and the role of parliaments in conducting oversight and guarding against potential risks will also form part of the deliberations.

The meeting targets Members of Parliament from the SADC region and other lawmakers from the various national conservation caucuses: members of Angola’s “Big Ten” Forum; the Botswana Conservation Parliamentary Caucus (BOCOPAC); the Mozambican Parliamentary Forum on Conservation (MPFC); the Namibia Conservation Parliamentary Caucus (NACOPAC); the Zambia Parliamentary Caucus on Environment and Climate Change (ZPCECC); the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (ZimPCC); and the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Various experts on the topics to be discussed will lead the various planned sessions, providing technical expertise and presenting the expected role of parliamentarians in advancing the climate resilience agenda.

Heather Sibungo, Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), Jill Barasa, Africa Programme Director for the ICCF Group, Anja Berretta, Head of Regional Programme Energy Security and Climate Change in Sub-Sharan Africa with KAS, and Dr. Thorsten Hutter, German Ambassador to Namibia, are among those scheduled to speak during the workshop.

The Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, is expected to deliver the keynote address.

Related Posts