Thu, Aug 25, 2016
When all is said and done, the success of the war against climate change hinges on political will, both at national and international level.
The phenomenon of climate change which has taken the world by storm can tenably be conceptualized in terms of an error. The case for such a conceptualization of the issue at hand is quite strong and it is on a two-dimensional basis. Firstly, like any error, the phenomenon of climate change is a product of faulty commission and or omission of man as evidenced by the fact that it is caused by such factors as the greenhouse gas emission. Secondly, true to the essence of any real error, the consequences of climate change are catastrophic to the core and they potentially spell doom for humanity.
It is said that the El-nino weather phenomenon that adversely affected the last farming season in Southern Africa conveys an example par excellence of the havoc that vagaries and variables of climate change are capable of wreaking. The weather pattern in question was so grave in terms of impact that it left in its wake a trail of terrible destruction. The devastating effect of it was most pronounced in relation to food security. For instance, the situation that was wrought by the weather pattern at stake in Zimbabwe was so dire that the government was compelled by the exigencies of the state of affairs to set up a task force mandated to assess and ascertain its severity. Its findings were such that people in the excess of 2 million in Zimbabwe are at the mercy of hunger and starvation. A similar situation was ascertained to be building up in Malawi. Consequently , the countries concerned were left with no option but resort to food importation from countries such as Brazil, thus forking out the little foreign currency they have thereby compounding the liquidity crunch bedeviling Zimbabwe in particular. The net effect of this factual situation is to paint a dark picture with regards to food security in particular and the economic outlook in general that borders on doom and gloom.
That being the case, there is a compelling need to confront head on the scourge constituted by the phenomenon of climate change once and for all. This calls for a holistic approach predicated on a tripartite premise of preventing, mitigating and adapting. Although fashioned instruments such as the Kyoto Protocol and the recently brokered Paris Agreement demonstrate global commitment to tackle the phenomenon of climate change hence positive steps in the right direction, the mettle of such commitment is glaringly hollow and shallow as evidenced by the paucity of strides that have been made on the ground.
Proceeding from this premise, the strength of the case for a change of tack in respect of the treatment and handling of the issue of climate change is beyond question. At the core of this change of tack ought to lie a paradigm shift with regards to practices, processes and procedures that have a bearing on climate change. For instance , the brutal reality of droughts calls for a break with tradition and departure from heavy reliance on rain fed agriculture and embrace the alternative provided by irrigation to complement the former by unlocking the potential and taping into the value inherent in and replete with the latter. This is an example par excellence of what the facet of adapting with regards to the holistic approach of dealing decisively with the phenomenon of climate change entails by way of incorporation. With the respect of prevention, the buck stops with the developed countries that are the main culprits which release oodles of toxic gasses into the atmosphere due to their advanced industries. There is need for these countries to undertake a soul-searching excursion as condition precedent to appreciating the fundamental fact that the problems posed by climate change far outweigh the benefits that accrue to them by releasing these gases unsustainably. This should translate into concrete action on their part which, inter alia, can take form of reaffirming commitment and fulfilling obligations such as financially resourcing the Green Fund. As for the developing countries and Africa in particular, there is need for them to lobby and pile pressure on their developed counterparts since they are the ones that are bearing the brunt.
When all is said and done, the success of the war against climate change hinges on political will, both at national and international level. It is is incumbent upon governments to recognize climate change as a key area of concern and treat it accordingly. Such a prioritization stands informed and guided by the fact that climate change has a disproportionate impact on agriculture which is a critical sector that materially concerns bread and butter issues that are central and crucial to the survival of humanity.
Image Credit: Iran Daily
Innocent Mandongwe is a 21 year old second year law student at University of Zimbabwe.