GOVERNMENT has urged Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to assist in developing ways of dealing with climate change which has affected Zambia especially in the agriculture and energy sectors.
Ministry of Lands and National Resources and Environmental Protection chief environment management officer Richard Lungu said Government realised the need for CSO in the fight against climate change as they created awareness and capacity building among the public.
Mr Lungu was speaking at a youth/CSO workshop on Paris climate agreement and the 2015 sustainable development goals in Lusaka.
“Government has realised that climate change issues cannot just be handled by Government alone, but need the help from CSO. Government has, therefore, developed a national climate change policy which is aimed at providing a roadmap for dealing with climate change issues.
“It is also important for CSO to come up with recommendations which will give guidance to Government with regard to climate change,” he said.
And CSO representative Abel Musumali observed the need to ensure that climate change issues were taken seriously and as a top priority.
Mr Musumali said CSO was aware of the adverse effects brought about by climate especially in areas of agriculture and energy.
Meanwhile, French ambassador to Zambia Emmanuel Cohet commended Government’s support to the Paris agreement as exhibited from the first day of the agreement.
Mr Cohet urged Government to sign and ratify the agreement.
“We urge the Zambian Government to not only sign the agreement but also ratify it. There are 55 countries which have already signed the agreement while 29 have ratified it. The more countries ratify it, the faster the implementation of the agreement,’’ he said.
The meeting was organised by Green Enviro-Watch, a youth environmental organisation, with funding from Oxfam GB Zambia.
It brought together about 40 participants from CSOs, government, private sector and donors.