Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu says government acknowledges that the starting point to fighting climate change is planning and allocating resources.
Speaking at the media breakfast held at Radission Blu in lusaka today Nzovu said the national budget is key policy instrument that is effective in outlining key annual priorities of any government.
He said the budget does not only steer economic growth and stability but delivers impacts around sustainable development targets.
He said climate change is an overarching issue that poses challenges and presents opportunities for attaining inclusive growth shared prosperity and alleviating poverty in Zambian.
He said as government settles down they have recognized limited national budget allocations overtime of average 1% towards environmental protection.
He said government is committed to addressing the climate change challenge in Zambia, this commitment is here to stay and will only intensify over the next several decades.
“Recognizing the critical and complex short to long time challenges and opportunities posed by climate challenge, the government has demonstrated Leadership with it’s strong commitment to a comprehensive climate change agenda,” He said.
He has also encouraged public and private investment in development practices to increase climate resilience protect against present risks and provide social -economic and environment benefits while offsetting future impacts.
He states that investing in low carbon growth may increase the competitive advantage of the zambian and set the country on a more sustainable green growth path.
Meanwhile World Wide Fund for nature WWF Country Director Nachilala Nkombo said her organization expects clear Economic recovery objectives anchored on dismantling national debt to free up resources for investment in Economic sectors – government must consider a possible debt for nature swap here to offer relief on its fiscus given the huge debt burden the country is currently bearing.
She said government must also look to expanding it’s fiscal space by considering the introduction of ecosystems services payment for key services such as land,water,forests and fishing to ensure that funds can be ploughed back to conversation activities that help with ecosystem restoration and protection.
“We expect a harmonisation of key reforms for the environment sector to ensure there are no conflicts in regulation amongst public actors and that key environment funds established in various pieces legislation can be operationalized,” She said.
She notes that the budget must deliver clear strategies for the promotion of green jobs as there are decent jobs that contribute to preserving or restoring the environment be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture or emerging green sectors such as renewable energy.