Environment and Climate Change

The destructive nature of climate change impacts on ecological diversity are being witnessed around the globe. As a result, as natural resources are impacted negatively by the effects of climate change, communities are experiencing shortages, food insecurity and water scarcity, thereby setting people apart and against each other as they struggle to have access and control of the few available resources.

Climate change impacts in Zimbabwe are related to water supply and food security. The country is already prone to droughts, which have become more recurrent over the last two decades. The geographical location of Zimbabwe in the tropics makes it vulnerable to shifting rainfall patterns, and water resources availability. Zimbabwe is also vulnerable to climate driven health impacts from vector borne diseases such as malaria worsened by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Adaptation measures to address climate change impacts are thus required to reduce impact in key economic sectors, especially agriculture.

Climate records demonstrate that Zimbabwe is already beginning to experience the effects of climate change, notably rainfall variability and extreme events. These conditions, combined with warming trends, are expected to render land increasingly marginal for agriculture, which poses a major threat to the economy and the livelihoods of the poor due to Zimbabwe’s heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture and climate sensitive resources. It is expected that farmers, who represent approximately 62 per cent of the total population, will bear disproportionate impacts due to their limited adaptive capacity. Consequently, climate change poses a major threat to sustainable development at the micro and macro levels.

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