WE, community members, community based groups, civil society and faith based organizations, media and business representatives having gathered at the Pre 23rd Conference of Parties (COP) meeting on the 26th of September 2017 at Crown Plaza Hotel, Harare hosted by Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), ZERO Regional Environment Organisation, Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) with support of Hivos and Act Alliance:  RECOGNISE the pivotal role of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and subsequent COP meetings aimed at combating climate change and its impacts; ACKNOWLEDGING Government of Zimbabwe’s commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement that seeks to hold the increase in global temperature this century to well below 2C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels;

NOTING that the Government of Zimbabwe is in the process of developing the position paper for the 23rd COP to be held in Bonn Germany under the presidency of Fiji from 6-17 November 2017; RECOGNISING that initial content of the Paris Agreement Rule Book is going to be developed at the COP 23; and HAVING deliberated during the Pre-COP 23 meeting, we specifically call upon the Zimbabwean Government position paper that will form part of the Africa Group Position to emphasize that the Paris Rule Book should:

1. Supports the LIMA work program on GenderThe narrative of climate change should dwell more on women and youth empowerment and responsive action as opposed to victim portrayal. The Lima Work Program on Gender should continuously feature in discussions given its focus on promoting gender balance, equality and women empowerment.  

2. Reiterate the importance of training and capacitating local communities to adapt to climate change Adapting to climate change remains critical to Zimbabwean communities. The 2015 El Niño induced drought caused severe food insecurity and water shortages while  the La Niña which caused serious flooding especially in Matabeleland, Lower Zambezi and South of Manicaland regions is testament to the urgent need to enhance communities’ adaptive capacity in Zimbabwe.  

3. Adequately defined climate finance Access to adequate, timely and unconditional climate finances forms the basis upon which climate action can be undertaken. The definition of climate finance should exclude loans that are provided to developing countries as they promote perpetual debts of future generations but rather should be limited to grants provided in line of the $100 billion per year by 2020 commitment. Financial assistance is a key enabler for Zimbabwe to be able to meet its National Determined Contributions (NDCs).  In this light, African Funds funding the African Agenda through AFDB and other regional banks like DBSA should support developing countries so as to reach our NDC target.   

4. Raise the ambition levels communicated by countries in their National Determined Contributions (NDCs)The Emission Gap report clearly identifies that the submitted countries’ NDCs are inadequate in meeting the Paris Agreement below 2°C target but rather 3°C. This evidence calls upon the immediate need for nations to revise their NDCs targets especially in light of the 2018 facilitative global stock take meeting.

5. Strengthen local InstitutionsThe Paris Rule Book should respond to the capacity needs of local institutions (NGOs, CBOs, Faith based organisations). Addressing the capacity needs of local institutions has spill over benefits that will ultimately benefit the host countries.   

6. Ensure technological transfer is beneficial and simultaneously meets the Zimbabwe populace needs Technology transfer is critical in enhancing the adaptive capacity of Zimbabwe as a developing country. Particular attention and support should be given to appropriate technology that meets the immediate needs of the Zimbabwean populace in accordance with Zimbabwe’s technology needs assessment reports.

For further information Contact Details:


Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association            ZERO Regional Environment Org

26 B Seke Road, Hatfield, Harare                          158 Fife Avenue Greenwood Park

Tel: +263 4 573601; 573602; 573603                     Tel +263 794637

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