Ministry of Tourism and Environment (MTEA) Director of Meteorology, Duduzile Nheengethwa-Masina, said while Eswatini was able to implement many projects in the various sectors of the NDCs, some goals were not met. Photo credit: Mantoe Phakathi / IPS
MBABANE, Nov. 17 (IPS) – Barry de Maine, the director of Green Cross Pharmacy, lost approximately $ 7,675 worth of shares when The Mall, Mbabane’s largest mall, was flooded in 2003. But when the flash floods reappeared that year, he had already installed a flange to prevent water from entering.
“This is the best I can do in the circumstances,” De Maine told IPS, adding, “Nothing else has been done since we saw flooding at the mall (17 years ago).”
In addition to damage to the shops in the mall, the customers’ cars had to be towed because they were swimming in the water.
While De Maine attributes the floods to climate change, he said no one asked him to come up with a long-term solution to what has become a common occurrence in the capital.
“I hear people talking about the floods, but no one has ever suggested anything. I’m ready to listen, but I’m more into action, ”said De Maine.
He will likely see action as the South African nation is determined not to leave anyone behind as it renews its commitment to the Paris Agreement. The country made its first commitment to the agreement in 2015 when it presented its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
However, the early NDCs did not have an implementation plan, cost or monitoring tool, which posed a challenge, Ministry of Tourism and Environment (MTEA) director of meteorology, Duduzile Nhlengethwa-Masina, told IPS.
“We try to include all of these elements as part of the review process to make sure we know who is doing what and how much is needed,” she said.
As part of the Paris Agreement, countries are revising their NDCs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature increases and implement solutions to adapt to the effects of climate change every five years.
Although Eswatini is one of the developing countries whose greenhouse gas contribution will be minimal, at 0.002 percent of global emissions by 2010, severe climate impacts such as droughts, hailstorms and floods have been recorded. Approximately 26 percent of Eswatini’s population experienced acute food insecurity between December 2018 and March 2019. According to the classification of the integrated food security phase, poor rainfall, a late start to the agricultural season and prolonged dry periods are some of the reasons why households were unable to meet their needs over the planned period.
With the support of the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), an initiative of the NDC partnership, 63 countries will receive financial and technical support to submit improved NDCs and accelerate their implementation. Eswatini is one of them.
According to Dr. Deepa Pullanikkatil, the NDC coordinator for Eswatini, eight partners – NDC partnership, UN development program climate pledge, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, UN Environment, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Commonwealth, International Renewable Energy Agency and the World Resources Institute – support various activities in Eswatini’s NDC review process.
“The NDC revision process began in May 2020 and the country expects to submit the revised NDC by June 2021,” Pullanikkatil told IPS.
The NDC partnership engaged 40 implementation partners as part of its Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), which provided financial and technical support to 63 countries to present improved NDCs and accelerate their implementation. Courtesy of NDC Partnershi.MTEA and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) are at the forefront of the process.
In its 2015 NDCs, the country pledged to develop the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) by 2020, which will focus on building resilience in various sectors, including agriculture, water, biodiversity and ecosystems.
To mitigate this, the country committed to focus on the energy sector – by doubling the share of renewable energies in the national energy mix by 2030 compared to 2010. Emphasis was also placed on the transport sector to introduce commercial use of 10% ethanol blend by 2030. The country made greater strides in its commitment to replace ozone-depleting substances with phasing out HFCs, PFCs and SF6 gases.
Nhlengethwa-Masina said while the country has been able to implement many projects in the various sectors of the NDCs, some goals have not been achieved. For example, the country couldn’t complete the NAP by 2020, but she hoped it would be ready by 2021.
“When we submitted the NDCs, we also had statements of conditionality,” she said, adding, “This referred to the fact that while we are committed, we can only achieve the goals on the condition that we have financial and technological capabilities Get support we need, including capacity building. ”
Among the challenges in implementing the NDC 2015, she cited insufficient investment, limited awareness of the NDC, political incoherence and limited participation by non-state actors.
Climate change advocate Rex Brown noted that the private sector – sugar cane, livestock and timber industries – are not involved in the NDC process, but climate change is having a huge impact on it.
“We can’t let the private sector fail, but if it keeps burying its head in the sand, it has a future,” Brown told IPS, adding, “It’s not just NGOs and parastatals that are dealing with it need process. ”
Nhlengethwa-Masina admitted to IPS the poor involvement of the private sector, adding that only a handful were present when the meeting was held and that they were usually the same business people over and over again.
She said the NDC process will develop strategies to stimulate private sector interest as this is crucial as the climate finance component is focused on.
When the first review of NDCs was rolled out last month, MTEA Chief Secretary John Hlophe said it was everyone’s duty to take climate action, regardless of what sector people came from.
Hlophe, who reached out to experts from the private sector, government and civil society organizations, said the NDCs should be owned by “all government” and “whole society”.
“We need to think deeply about how the NDCs can best be implemented after their revision,” said Hlophe
Hlophe reiterated the call for renewed efforts by Moses Vilakati, the MTEA’s minister, to the political leaders a week earlier.
Vilakati said that in addressing complex challenges like climate change, the country needs to bring together the best minds, technical and financial resources to support pragmatic action.
“We can only do this if we team up,” said Vilakati.
Vilakati said developing viable climate adaptation and mitigation strategies in the NDCs will help Eswatini achieve its national goals such as Vision 2022, national development strategy and COVID-19 economic recovery strategy, as all of these goals are brought about by climate change are threatened.
“The improvement in NDCs also signals investment opportunities for public financial institutions and private investors,” said Vilakati.
The main secretary of the MEPD, Bheki Bhembe, said the National Development Plan 2019/20 – 2021/22 recognizes the challenge of climate change and is presented as a key priority for development planning.
“For this reason, the ministry has asked an economic advisor who will work closely with MTEA to strengthen the capacities of the central agencies to integrate climate change into national development processes,” said Bhembe.
Bhembe thanked the NDC partnership for the technical and financial assistance in revising the NDC, adding that this time the process has improved compared to 2015.
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