Together We Rise: Zimbabwe Urges Climate Empowerment at Bonn

Tatenda Mutasa

The 60th session of the Bonn Climate Change Conference, hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), kicked off on June 3 and concludes on, June 13. Zimbabwean government officials, including Professor Prosper Matondi, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife, are actively participating in discussions on critical topics like climate change financing.

Here are some key takeaways from Professor Matondi’s contributions at the conference:

  • Collective Action for a Sustainable Future: “Climate change is a threat that affects every person in Zimbabwe,” Professor Matondi emphasised. “Addressing its impacts and building a sustainable future for our country will require a whole-of-society approach, with every sector, community, and individual playing their part.”
  • Climate Empowerment: The Cornerstone of Success: Professor Matondi highlighted the crucial role of climate empowerment: “At the heart of this effort lies the critical need for climate empowerment – equipping our citizens with the knowledge, tools, and opportunities to engage in climate action. This is not just a global imperative but an absolute necessity if we are to overcome the challenges posed by a changing climate.”
  • Shared Responsibility for Climate Action: The Professor outlined specific actions for different stakeholders: “Government agencies, for instance, must ensure climate change is integrated across policy frameworks and public service delivery. Businesses need to adopt sustainable practices and empower their workforce. And civil society organizations must continue mobilizing grassroots climate action and advocacy.”
  • Youth – The Vanguard of Change: Professor Matondi placed strong emphasis on youth leadership: “Crucially, Zimbabwe’s young people must be at the forefront of this movement. By equipping the next generation with climate education and platforms for participation, we can unlock their boundless potential as agents of change.”

Professor Matondi further elaborated on the importance of youth involvement: “Our children and youth are the true leaders in the fight against climate change,’ he said. ‘They are ready and willing to take action, but they need the support and resources to do so effectively.'”

  • Zimbabwe’s Leadership in Climate Action: Looking ahead, Professor Matondi emphasized the opportunity for Zimbabwe to demonstrate global leadership: “As Zimbabwe prepares its updated Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, the country has a pivotal opportunity to elevate the role of climate empowerment. By embedding these principles across all climate and development initiatives, Zimbabwe can demonstrate global leadership and deliver a sustainable, resilient future for all.”
  • The Urgency of Climate Action: Professor Matondi underscored the urgency of addressing climate change: “Indeed, the impacts of climate change are already being felt across the country, from prolonged droughts to devastating floods. Addressing these challenges will require a concerted effort from every corner of society.”

Professor Matondi concluded with a powerful call to action: “Empowering our citizens with the knowledge, tools and opportunities to engage in climate action is not just a nice-to-have, but an absolute necessity if we are to build a sustainable future for Zimbabwe.’ This is not just the government’s responsibility – it’s up to all of us. Together, we can unlock the power of an informed, engaged citizenry to tackle the climate crisis head-on and create a better tomorrow for generations to come.”

Tatenda Mutasa is a Principal Climate Change Scientist who works for the Government of Zimbabwe in the Climate Change Management Department under the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife. He is responsible for climate change capacity building, awareness raising and training at national level. He is the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) National Focal Point for Zimbabwe

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