By ANDREW MUKOMA
CENTRE for Environment Justice (CEJ) has called for the implementation of the Environmental Sustainability commitments made by government in the 2022 national budget speech.
CEJ Executive Director, Maggie Mwape has cited the 2022 National Budget speech paragraph 130 to 133 where Government made its aspirations clear on environmental sustainability.
Ms Mwape has observed that in the speech focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation, natural resources management and early warning systems.
She said that Government has made commitments to promote innovative financing for climate change interventions such as Green Bonds, carbon trading and putting in place legislation to establish a National Climate Change Fund.
The CEJ Executive Director has since urged the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to commence the process for establishing the Climate Change Fund, including a clear definition of the proposed governance frame for the fund.
And, Ms Mwape has emphasized that the fund should not only be established but must be operational.
She said, this is because the fund in question should not join the list of non-operational funds and avoid operational challenges witnessed with other established funds.
Ms Mwape gave examples of established funds such as the Environmental Protection Fund (under Mines and Mineral Development Act 2015, Section 86), Environment Fund (under Environmental management Act of 2011, section 95), Fisheries and Agriculture Development Fund (under Fisheries Act of 2011, section 53 -56), Tourism Development Fund (under Tourism and Hospitality Act of 2015, Section 64), Water development Fund (under Water resources Management Act of 2011, section 155 ), Wildlife Development Fund (under Zambia wildlife Act of 2015, Section 10) and Wildlife Community Resource Board fund(under Zambia Wildlife Act of 2015, Section 35).
She observed that while Zambia has a number of environmental protection policies and strategies, financing has largely been earmarked for donors.
She said that the new administration has an opportunity to change the status quo and align development aspirations with stronger domestic resources to ensure effective implementation of climate change actions and plans.
This is contained in a statement released to the Daily Nation in Livingstone.