Environmental Protection Dialogue - 2021
The Centre for Environment Justice held it’s 2nd Annual National Environmental Protection Dialogue (EPD) on the 14th and 15th of October 2021 bearing the theme “Better Policy decisions for Ecosystem and Biodiversity Restoration, Sustainable Renewable Energy and Climate Change Adaptation” The Dialogue was held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre and was supported by CEJ’s convening partners; Bread for the World, Action Aid, SAYOF, WWF Zambia, UNDP, First Quantum Minerals Limited and Imperial Parts Limited.
Three issues were the primary focus at the 2nd Annual EPD 2021 explicitly Climate Change, Sustainable Renewable Energy and Ecosystem and Biodiversity restoration. These key issues were addressed with the purpose of arriving at the main challenges plaguing the three main environmental issues raised to formulate key solutions, action plans and interventions in championing climate change adaptation, climate financing and sustainable development.
Several key stakeholders graced the House with their presence at the dialogue some of the esteemed delegates present were; the government officials represented by the guest of honour Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Hon Mr Collins Nzovu MP, the Director for Environment, Hon Mr Godwin Fishani Gondwe as well as the Parliamentarians, Hon Remember Mutale, Hon Josephine Sabao and others. Foreign dignitaries were present, the Us Ambassador, Chief of Missions, Mr Martin Dale, the German Ambassador, Dr Anne Wagner- Mitchell. Traditional leaders in attendance were Royal Highnesses, Senior Chief Ishima, Chief Mnukwa, Chieftainess Muwezwa and Chief Chikwanda were present during the proceedings. CSO’s such as REA and Care for Nature Zambia and among the Youth and women groups was the Young Emerging Farmers initiative.
During the dialogue, a myriad of solutions and action interventions were mentioned to deal with the three main environmental issues discussed. The interventions that had been identified to negate the grave environmental problems included the VCA project implemented to provide climate actions and solutions to the community that would be able to reach the beneficiaries, the SCRALA project aimed at strengthening communities’ agricultural resilience, the Luangwa REDD+ project implemented to reduce carbon emissions and others. Some of the solutions mentioned included; Government support to decongest urban areas through provision of alternative livelihoods and access to alternative sources of energy in rural areas, Strengthening of enforcement agencies and policies to ensure operative enforcement of sound environment measures, harmonisation of all the Laws and policies that speak to each other and define corporate social responsibility and finally the increase of local communities access to climate finance.