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Zambia is stepping up efforts for a climate-resilient future

The joint UNDP-FAO Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag) Programme supports partner countries to identify and integrate climate adaptation measures for the agricultural sectors into relevant national planning and budgeting processes. The programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), through its International Climate Initiative (IKI).

23 May 2018, Lusaka, Zambia – To raise awareness and sensitize key stakeholders on the overall NAP process in Zambia, the joint FAO-UNDP Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans Programme (NAP-Ag) held two back-to-back workshops 21-23 May in Lusaka. During the three day event, key stakeholders also worked together to draft a roadmap for NAP in the agricultural sectors. 

Zambia is highly vulnerable to climate change mainly because the livelihoods of its people are very dependent on natural resources. Planning for adaptation is therefore crucial in order to safeguard livelihoods, raise agricultural production and boost food security. That is why in 2017 FAO and UNDP partnered with the Zambian Government to help integrate the agricultural sectors in the country’s planning and budgeting processes. The workshop takes us one step closer. 

“Dealing with climate change hazards requires that necessary interventions and policies are put in place to address climate change-related risks and enhance our adaptive capacities as a nation,” said Peter K. Luingu, Director of Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture,  at the opening of the awareness workshop.

"The NAP-AG project aims to deliver assistance by enhancing the capacity of individuals and institutions to develop medium and long-term adaptation priorities and reduce vulnerability. The programme also supports our country in building adaptive capacity by mainstreaming climate change adaptation into all sector-specific and national development planning processes" Lungu continued.

Targeting representatives from line Ministries, CSOs, and relevant sectors and institutions involved in developing and implementing Zambia’s NAP, the first meeting sought to enhance awareness and understanding of the NAP formulation process among key stakeholders across different sectors. Representatives provided updates on the status of ongoing NAP processes in the health, water, energy and agriculture sectors.

Participants, including farmers’ organizations, expressed optimism at the progress and urged sector NAP teams to share best practices and integrate community views into these NAPs. This sentiment was echoed by the FAO and UNDP country representatives who highlighted the importance of strong adaptation planning to increase communities’ resilience to climate change and to meet the country’s resolutions towards global goals.

“Climate change is a significant development challenge globally and locally. The current extremes and challenges of climate variability often manifested as floods and droughts will be experienced for decades to come. Climate change and variability is especially important for the agricultural sectors in Zambia, which are heavily dependent on rainfall due to the country’s limited irrigation capacity ”, said George Okech, FAO Country Representative in Zambia.

“The impacts of climate change—such as increased dry spells and erratic rains — threaten to undermine decades of development gains and future development trajectories in Zambia. With improved systems, Zambia has the opportunity to break free from poverty traps, invest in long-term productive assets, and build a climate-smart future and achieve Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mandisa Mashologu, the UNDP Country Director in Zambia.

Following this meeting was a two-day workshop in Chisamba, on the outskirts of Lusaka, focusing on stakeholders in the agricultural sectors. Given that agriculture is one of the sectors most affected by climate change, representatives from different subsectors – fisheries, livestock, and crops –worked together to review gaps and opportunities in adaptation planning and formulate a roadmap for improved  coordination, monitoring and prioritisation of adaptation actions in national planning and budgeting processes.