Awarding of Certificates of the Climate Change Mainstreaming Research Programme
Five participants graduated with Certificates in Climate Change Mainstreaming Research in Bindura recently. The five were nominated by the Mashonaland Central Provincial Development Committee. The graduation ceremony was attended by senior government officials from the Ministry of Environment, Climate,Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MECTHI), Provincial Development Committee members and University Officials. The graduation ceremony of the participants which was delayed due to COVID-19 disruptions, only came to fruition on 17 November 2021.
Following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Environment Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry on 23 March 2021, Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) embarked on training the nominated five Mashonaland Central Provincial Development Committee members. The training focused on Climate Change Mainstreaming to Development Projects which is part of the agenda in the National Development Strategy 1. The whole programme that took 3 months (from 1 April to 30 June 2021), involved intense lectures, a final examination and a research project in Rushinga District, one of the drought prone Districts in the Province.
Present at the graduation ceremony were Mr Washington Zhakata (Director of the Department of Climate Change Management) and Mr Ndidzano (Deputy Director of Department of Climate Change Management) representing the Permanent Secretary of the MECTHI, Mr Munesu Munodawafa; the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Parawira representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof Mwenje; Prof. Manatsa, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering; members of the Provincial Development Committee, BUSE staff and students. Altogether, more than fifty guests graced the occasion.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof W. Parawira welcomed the guests and applauded the successful implementation of the Mainstreaming Climate Change Research Programme. He further noted that there was certainly a need for capacity building in terms of the new approach to ensure inclusivity. This was in tandem with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our National Vision of becoming an “Empowered and Prosperous Upper Middle-Income Society by 2030.” He also reiterated that the issues of climate change adaptation and mitigation were no longer a choice, but mandatory for every sector in building resilience to our day to day activities in meeting our personal, local, national and the global sustainable development goals. Coincidentally, this dovetails with the philosophy of Education 5.0 which sees education as a tool for producing goods and services required in the country.
Mr W. Zhakata, the director of the Department of Climate Change Management gave an overview of the whole programme clearly pointing to the need of equiping the Zimbabwean citizens in general and all the sectors for national economic development in particular, with the skills and knowledge on mainstreaming climate change. In all the socio-economic and political endeavours in the country, there is the need to ensure resilience and sustainability. Mr Zhakata made reference to the outcomes of the Glasgow international leaders’ convention (COP 26) that mainly emphasized the need to down scale economic activities that lead to the production of greenhouse gases that exarcebate global warming causing heatwaves, drought, floods, irregular weather patterns among other disasterous climatic events. The Director said that similar programmes were going to be rolled out to ensure climate change awareness reaches every Zimabwean citizen.This was also emphasized by Mr Ndidzano.
Government will now integrate climate change in development planning as enunciated in the National Development Strategy 1. The Draft Provincial Development Plan of Mashonaland Central Province also presented demonstrated an appreciation by the team on how climate issues could be fused in the development trajectory along the lines of devolution.
Mr I. Kanerusine, on behalf of the trained PDC members, presented the team’s joint research output on, ‘An assessment of the adaptive capacity of Subnational Institutions in building resilience against climate change induced droughts in Rushinga District, Mashonaland Central Province: The Case of Ward 21’. The research provided evidence of climate change in the District and stressed the need for mainstreaming climate change in its development initiatives.
The programme was facilitated by Dr A. Manyani, the Chairman of the Geography Department and Dr R. Maponga, lecturer in the Geography Department.Professor Desmond Manatsa gave the vote of thanks.