The first Climate Change Cross-sectoral Working Group meeting for this year was held on May 14, 2013, at Sanitas, Gaborone.The purpose of the meeting (among others) was to discuss formalisation of the working group by getting nominations from Directorates and Units. Nominations were made during the meeting and appointment letters will be sorted from their respective Directors.
The Environment Unit gave brief presentations on the Regional Climate Change Programme, the Tripartite Climate Change Programme as well as the upcoming Climate Change Symposium. Various sectors also made presentations, including Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Gender Unit, Health and HIV/AIDS.What stood out from all the presentations was the relationship between each sector and climate change. The inter-relatedness of all the issues could not be better emphasised. The Working Group noted that there is lack of coordination across sectors because work plans are formulated individually by sectors. There is no framework of developing workplans cross-sectorally to ensure activities are reflected in each other’s workplans. There is no platform that allows linkages on activities. Therefore the need for this working group as such a platform cannot be overstated.
As a way forward, the meeting agreed that it was important to have the working group planning workshop to draft a workplan and prioritise activities for implementation. The date and venue chosen are July 11-12, 2013 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The workshop will also assist in harmonization of all SADC climate change activities to be implemented by the working group. Each sector must prepare their sectoral priorities for presentation during the workshop. The Working Group will have a role to play in all the programmes by facilitating implementation of each in the various sectors and within member states. It will also participate in the symposium, where the process of developing a Regional Climate Change Strategy will be initiated. Also during this symposium there will be discussions on preparations for UNFCCC COP 19.
The meeting was attended by all the Directorates and Units. Addressing the opening remarks, SADC Food Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Director, Ms. Margaret Nyirenda expressed her happiness with the attendance. She emphasized the need for the discussions to be of cross-cutting nature and encouraged inputs into the Facility initiative of the Tripartite Programme, to ensure its effective implementation.She reiterated that the ministerial meeting was around the corner in July and therefore there is a need to work on issues and implement activities to ensure ministers are well briefed at the meeting.