In Zimbabwe, shocked UN Chief, Amina Mohammed sees first hand climate change effects on African wildlife
London, Feb. 24, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Chief has expressed sadness at the devastating effects of climate change on African wildlife
Climate change has been at the forefront of the news agenda for a while now as global temperatures continue to rise and the world seeks solutions to stem the tide.
Little, however, is told of how Africa’s animals are suffering alongside the human populace from the effects of climate change, especially due to lack of water, resulting in continued loss of habitats.
To see first hand and discuss possible solutions, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed visited Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest, almost half the size of Belgium at 14,651square kilometres.
With over 400 bird and 150 mammal species, 45,000 of them being elephants, the national wonder is suffering as weather patterns are no longer dependable, resulting in less rainfall, explained Hillary Madhiri of the national parks and wildlife office.
The issues facing the parks are many and wide-ranging. They include human and wildlife conflicts, anti poaching efforts, lack of water and loss of habitat, limited resources, droughts and population management.
There are however, efforts to build partnerships with the communities in the area to preserve the park. “Of the problems we have, climate change is our biggest challenge,” said Mr. Madhiri, adding, they had sunk over a 100 boreholes to save the animals from dying due to lack of water in the dry season.
More long term initiatives are needed to cope with the drought trends. Ms. Mohammed commended the park’s efforts to buffer nature against climate change.
“We have seen what climate change is doing to our environment and livelihoods. We saw how the park is hounded by climate change; the way in which Hwange is hot, the water, and even animal migration and people. It’s quite complex,” she said.
Ms. Mohammed is in Zimbabwe to attend the 6th Africa Regional Forum on sustainable development which runs from 24-27 February in Victoria Falls on the theme: 2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.
Speaking on arrival in Victoria Falls, she said she would also participate in a Special Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism organised by the United Nations and the African Union Commission. “….And what a better place than Zimbabwe to show the kind of leadership that we would like to see in transforming Africa through the Agendas 2063 and 2030,” the UN Deputy Chief said.
She noted the ARFSD participants will discuss the elements needed to accelerate actions on the ground for nations to achieve the goals of the two agendas, in particular, creating inclusive economies.
Ms Mohanmed was accompanied by Senior Zimbabwe government officials and UN agency representatives, including Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa.