Namibia was one of five countries that shared their best practices towards addressing climate change with Tanzania last week.
Tanzania is still in the planning stage of its national climate change strategy.
Tanzania is learning from other countries that already have their climate change strategies in place. It wants to learn climate change best practices in comprehensive climate change planning from such countries in order to incorporate them into its national climate change strategy process.
Tanzania looks at Namibia, Mexico, South Africa, Zambia and Bangladesh as global leaders in climate change planning.
It was, however, against this background that took a five-day conference held in Windhoek as a platform for the five countries to share their best practices with it.
“Tanzania has made important strides in preparing for climate change strategy and is embarking on a new national climate change strategy,” said the Senior Environmental Specialist for the World Bank in Tanzania,
Ann Jeannette Glauber, Presentations on developing a vision for climate change, establishing and implementing an actionable framework for adaptation and mitigation were done at the conference. Also for presentation were the best practice examples of institutional arrangements and financial mechanisms for channeling climate change.
The conference brought together high-level representatives from various ministries of Tanzania. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism said the conference came to Namibia because the country has worked hard to earn its reputation in responding to climate change.
“For countries that are not advanced in climate change planning, Namibia’s model provides a fascinating and instructive case study,” said the Ministry in a statement.
The declining ice caps of Africa's highest mountain Kilimanjaro, is believed to be the result of climate change.
The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that Kilimanjaro glaciers and snow cover have been retreating 55% of glaciers loss between the year 1962 and 2000.
Deep tropical lakes are experiencing reduced algal abundance and declines in productivity because stronger stratification reduces upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water.
A 2009 study by the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) predicted that due to climate change, Tanzania’s agricultural sector will reduce the nation's total GDP by 0.6 – 1% by 2030.
Professor Jain, a lecturer at the University of Zambia who has been involved in issues of climate change for 22 years now, said the impact of climate change has been felt in Zambia.
He said Zambia has seen a rise in temperatures from 1.5 degree Celsius to 2 degree Celsius in the last 50 years as well as in changing rainfall patterns.
“This year, rainfall started earlier in September which has never happened before. The distribution of rainfall is changing,” he said.
However, Jain said his Government has come up with a number of interventions to address climate change. He said in 2007, the Zambian came up with the National Adaptation Program and in 2009; it set up the Climate Change Facilitation Unit.
The under secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Simeon Negumbo mentioned at the conference on Monday that ‘‘learning through sharing knowledge would not only impact our experiences for climate change planning, but in so doing, we would strengthen our networks in support of improved partnership.”
He said the Namibian economy, as is the case in many other African countries, is natural resource-based and therefore extremely sensitive to climate change.
“In light of this, Namibia has made bold strides in climate change planning to capture our goals to be an industrialized country as outlined in our Vision 2030,” said Negumbo.
He said as a result of climate change, Namibia has a national policy on climate change that was approved this year and which takes a multi-sectoral approach to adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Negumbo said in the near future, Namibia will embark on a dynamic modeling exercise which will test the country's policy interventions in addressing climate change.
“This is a crucial exercise and it will help Namibia as a country look at the current policies and see whether they are resilient to future climate change scenarios, It is a very important planning component to help us in addressing our national development plans, our millennium development goals and in achieving Vision 2030,” he added.
The conference was held from 10 -14 October and was funded by DFID and the World Bank.