Eswatini makes Progress on NDCs thanks to Crucial Partnership Support

Director of Meteorology at the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs (MTEA), Duduzile Nheengethwa-Masina, said while Eswatini was able to implement many projects in the different sectors of the NDCs, some targets were not met. Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

Director of Meteorology at the Ministry of Tourism and
Environmental Affairs (MTEA), Duduzile Nheengethwa-Masina, said
while Eswatini was able to implement many projects in the different
sectors of the NDCs, some targets were not met. Credit: Mantoe
Phakathi/IPS

By Mantoe Phakathi
MBABANE, Nov 17 2020 (IPS)

Barry de Maine, the director of Green Cross Pharmacy, lost about
$ 7,675 worth of stock when The Mall, the largest shopping centre
in Mbabane, was flooded back in 2003. But when the flash floods hit
again this year, he had already installed a flange to stop water
from coming in.

“This is the best I could do under the circumstances,” De
Maine told IPS, adding: “Otherwise since we started experiencing
floods at The Mall (17 years ago) nothing has been done.”

Besides damage to shops at The Mall, customers’ cars had to be
towed away because they were floating in water.

While De Maine attributes the floods to climate change, he said
no one has engaged him to discuss a long-term solution to what has
become a frequent event in the capital city.

“I hear people talking about the floods but no one has ever
proposed anything. I’m willing to listen but I’m more
interested in action,” said De Maine.

He is likely to see action because the southern African nation
is determined to leave no one behind, as it renews its commitment
to the
Paris Agreement
. The country made its first commitment to the
Agreement in 2015 when it submitted its
Nationally Determined Contributions
(NDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change
.�

But the first NDCs had no implementation plan, costing or
monitoring tool, which presented a challenge, the director of
Meteorology at the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs
(MTEA), Duduzile Nhlengethwa-Masina, told IPS.

“We’re trying to build in all these elements as part of the
review process to ensure that we know who is supposed to do what
and how much is needed,†she said.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries revise their NDCs to cut
greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise and
implement solutions to adapt to the effects of climate change,
every five years.

Although Eswatini is one of the developing countries whose
contribution to greenhouse gases is minimal, at
0.002 percent of global emissions by 2010
, it is experiencing
severe climate impacts such as droughts, hailstorms and
floods. About 26 percent of Eswatini’s population was projected
to face acute food insecurity between December 2018 and March 2019.
According to the
Integrated Food Security Phase Classification
, poor rainfall,
late onset of the agricultural season and prolonged dry spells are
some of the reasons households could not meet their needs over the
projected period.

Through support from Climate
Action Enhancement Package (CAEP)
, an initiative of the
NDC Partnership, 63
countries are given financial and technical assistance to submit
enhanced NDCs and fast-track their implementation. Eswatini is one
of them.

According to Dr Deepa Pullanikkatil, the NDCs coordinator for
Eswatini, eight partners – NDC Partnership, U.N. Development
Programme’s Climate Promise, Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa, U.N. Environment, the Food and Agriculture
Organisation of the U.N., the Commonwealth, International Renewable
Energy Agency and the World Resources Institute – are supporting
different activities in Eswatini’s NDCs review process.

“The process of NDCs Revision began in May 2020 and the
country expects to submit the revised NDC by June 2021,â€
Pullanikkatil told IPS.

The NDC Partnership has engaged 40 implementing partners as part
of its Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) which has provided
63 countries with financial and technical assistance to submit
enhanced NDCs and fast-track their implementation. Courtesy: NDC
Partnership

MTEA and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development
(MEPD) are spearheading the process.

In its 2015 NDCs, the country had committed to producing the
National Adaptation Plan (NAP) by 2020, which will focus on
building resilience in different sectors including agriculture,
water and, biodiversity and ecosystems, among others.  

For mitigation, the country committed to focusing on the energy
sector – by doubling the share of renewable energy in the
national energy mix by 2030 relative to 2010 levels. Emphasis was
also been placed on the transport sector to introduce commercial
use of 10 percent ethanol blend by 2030. The country made bigger
strides in its commitment to substitute ozone-depleting substances
by phasing out HFCs, PFCs and SF6 gases.

Nhlengethwa-Masina said while the country was able to implement
many projects in the different sectors of the NDCs, some targets
were not met. For example, the country could not complete the NAP
by 2020 but she was hopeful that it will be ready by 2021.

“As we submitted the NDCs, we also had statements of
conditionality,†she said, adding: “This was relating to the
fact that while we commit but we can only achieve the targets on
condition that we’re receiving the financial and technological
support we need, including capacity building.â€

Among the challenges of implementing the 2015 NDC, she cited
inadequate investments, limited awareness about the NDCs, policy
incoherence and limited involvement of non-state actors.

Rex Brown, a climate change advocate, noted that the private
sector – sugarcane, livestock and timber industries – is not
engaged in the NDCs process yet climate change has a huge impact on
it. 

“We can’t allow the private sector to fail but if it
continues to bury its head in the sand, then it faces a stuck
future,†Brown told IPS, adding: “It’s not only NGOs and
parastatals who need to engage with this process.â€

Nhlengethwa-Masina acknowledged to IPS the poor participation of
the private sector, adding that when invited to meetings only a
handful attend and it was usually the same business people time and
again.

She said the NDCs process will come up with strategies to
stimulate interest from the private sector because it is critical
as the climate finance component focuses on it.

Speaking at the launch of the first review of the NDCs last
month, the Principal Secretary at MTEA, John Hlophe, said it was
everyone’s duty to take climate action, regardless of what sector
people came from. 

Hlophe, who was addressing experts from the private sector,
government and civil society organisations, said the NDCs should be
owned by the “whole of government†and the “whole of
societyâ€. 

“We have to think deeply on how best to implement the NDCs
once it is revised,†said Hlophe

Hlophe reiterated the call for renewed efforts made by Moses
Vilakati, the Minister of MTEA, a week earlier to political
leaders.

Vilakati said, when addressing complex challenges such as
climate change, the country needed to bring together the best
minds, technical and financial resources that support pragmatic
action.

“We can only do this if we join forces,†said Vilakati.

Vilakati said coming up with viable climate adaptation and
mitigation strategies in the NDCs will help Eswatini to achieve its
national goals such as Vision 2022, its National Development
Strategy and the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy because all
these goals were threatened by climate change.

“Enhancing NDCs also signals investment opportunities for
public finance institutions and private investors to support,â€
said Vilakati.

The principal secretary at MEPD, Bheki Bhembe, said the National
Development Plan 2019/20 – 2021/22 recognises the climate change
challenge and is presented as a crucial focus for development
planning.

“It is for this reason that the Ministry requested an economic
advisor who will work closely with MTEA to strengthen the capacity
of central agencies in integrating climate change into national
development processes,†said Bhembe. 

Bhembe thanked the NDC
Partnership
for the technical and financial support in the NDCs
revision adding that, this time around, the process has improved
compared to 2015.

The post
Eswatini makes Progress on NDCs thanks to Crucial Partnership
Support
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
Eswatini makes Progress on NDCs thanks to Crucial
Partnership Support