VIOLET MENGO, Siavonga
GOVERNMENT has called on delegates to the United Nations (UN) climate change summit scheduled for Peru next month to represent the aspirations of the country.
Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection permanent secretary Inutu Suba said climate change has continued to negatively impact on the countryâ€™s most sensitive sectors and livelihood of poor and vulnerable communities.
Ms Suba called on the delegates to reflect on past performances at the conference and refine their strategies for participation at this yearâ€™s climate change summit.
â€œThis workshop is aimed at building capacity of the delegates who will participate at the 2014 climate change summit, I urge you to take this meeting seriously and provide input that will save the planet and help an average Zambian adapt to impacts of climate change,â€ Ms Suba said.
She said this in a speech read for her by Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection administrator environment and natural resources Fishani Gondwe.
Ms Suba said Government will continue undertaking capacity building initiatives and to provide necessary support to ensure that the country is adequately represented.
â€œThe drought and floods which have increased in frequency and intensity over the last two decades have adversely impacted on food security and livelihood of communities,â€ Ms Suba said.
She said such impacts have compounded the daunting economic and social challenges the country already faces.
She said urgent action is needed by all to prevent dangerous interference with climate systems to prevent global warming and climate change.
And United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) climate change expert Excellent Hachileka said Zambiaâ€™s participation at the climate change summit is dependent on the preparedness of the delegates to negotiate.
â€œWe have a challenge to ensure that the Zambian position paper carries the interest of the people to Lima,â€ Mr Hachileka said.
And Green Enviro Watch chief executive officer Abel Musumali said youths should be involved in negotiations because they are also adversely affected by climate change
The Zambian delegation to the UN summit is in Siavonga for a three-day capacity building meeting supported by UNDP.
VIOLET MENGO, Siavonga