Government calls for financial support to combat climate change effects

Lilongwe: Government has stressed the need for more funds to manage climate change effects by improving community resilience and reducing emissions of green house gases among other efforts.

Government’s appeal for more funds to the cause comes in response to a report released by the German Watch, a German think-tank advocating for the prevention of dangerous climate change which has ranked Malawi as the 3rd most vulnerable country to climate change risk following the unprecedented floods that have affected thousands of people in the recent years.

Titled ‘Who suffers most from extreme weather events?’ the report analyses the extent to which countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related events such as storms, floods and heat waves, just to mention a few.

Malawi is amongst the three most affected countries highlighted in the 2015 tragedies as a result of heavy rainfall, which the report describes as an injustice against humanity.

Chief Director in the Department of Environment and Climate Management, Bright Kumwembe said government and the International Community have made progress in advancing mobilization of financial support for climate technologies.

Kumwembe said the support will assist developing countries such as Malawi to implement their technology needs assessment reports and action plans, and also engage in research and development of climate change relevant technologies.

He said Malawi has further developed the Malawi National Climate Change Investment Plan which details climate change initiatives the government and its stakeholders have committed to undertake as part of its global commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

He added that the ministry has engaged with stakeholders on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and that the collaboration has resulted in Malawi getting one of the Modernized Climate Localized Information Management Systems (M-Climes) project funded.

Kumwembe added that other concepts have also been submitted to the GCF for consideration for funding in line with Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MGDS 1II).

He said the ministry has also sustained collaboration with other stakeholders such as Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Northern Region Water Board and other NGOs on the development of concept notes and funding proposals to the Climate Change Financial Mechanism.

As a country, we have made progress such as the integration of climate change as one of the priority areas in the MGDS 111. We have also created an enabling policy environment through adoption of the National Climate Change Management Policy, he said.

Malawi’s total GHG emissions accounts only for about 0.02 per cent of global GHG emissions, yet the country is notably affected adversely.

Projections show that Southern Africa, Malawi inclusive, will continue to receive less precipitation and as such, droughts will be more frequent.

However, Kumwembe said such issues will be presented at this year’s Conference of Parties (COP24) in Poland, where key agenda items to be negotiated include modalities, procedures and guidelines to support the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Malawi, through negotiations at COP24, is getting more than $50 million (about K36.7 billion) for implementation of climate change projects in vulnerable communities and we will do the same this year, he said.

Kumwembe encouraged all stakeholders to join efforts to develop more programs and projects to support vulnerable communities in addressing impacts of climate change and also assist in the restoration of degraded and deforested ecosystems and landscapes, the environment, natural resources and climate change.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA