CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka
ZAMBIA has highlighted the major steps it is taking to deal with climate change as part of the largest official delegation to visit Green Climate Fundâ€™s (GCF) headquarters in Korea.
And GCF executive director Howard Bamsey said GCF is considering a number of projects in Zambia, with the majority focusing on promoting private sector investment.
Minister of National Development Planning Lucky Mulusa, who is leading the Zambian delegation, underscored the ties between climate change and national development in Zambia.
â€œRainfall patterns in Zambia are becoming irregular, affecting a large number of people who rely on agriculture. So, poverty levels are rising in areas where climate change effects have most taken their toll,â€ Mr Mulusa said.
He said the unexpected drop in water levels in the Kariba Dam was a demonstration of how decreased rainfall could disrupt economic development as Zambia relied on hydro-based generation for about 95 percent of its electricity.
Mr Mulusa said in an interview on Wednesday that Zambiaâ€™s ability to draw up climate finance proposals had been enhanced by GCFâ€™s readiness support programme.
He said Zambia signed a readiness grant agreement with GCF at the Fundâ€™s 11th board meeting in November 2015, which also marked GCFâ€™s approval of its first projects, now numbering 35.
And Mr Bamsey said GCF was considering a number of projects in Zambia.
He said he was pleased to see the inclusion of private sector representation in the Zambian delegation.
â€œFundamental to GCFâ€™s role, is its use of resources from public sources to leverage private sector investment. If we can succeed in that, then we can succeed in the climate change response,â€ he said.
Welcoming the 23-member group, including three Cabinet ministers, Mr Bamsey highlighted Zambiaâ€™s ability to respond to climate change.
â€œZambia has a comprehensive action plan to address climate change. This roadmap has been established with collaboration among multiple national ministries and provides a model for other countries,â€ he said.
The delegation held a day of discussions with the GCF secretariat in the city of Songdo to encourage greater understanding of the fund in Zambia and deepen the countryâ€™s ongoing partnership with GCF.
The interventions Zambia has implemented include the establishment of the National Designated Authority to deal with GCF issues and identification of three Zambian organisations as potential GCF Accredited Entities.
Another intervention is the recent progress on six projects that Zambia is presenting to GCF for possible future support.
CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka