Local civil society organisations have called on rich countries to provide more funding towards climate change mitigation so that poor countries can adapt.
Civil Society Network on Climate Change (Cisonecc) and Coordination Union for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (Cure) made the call during a cultural carnival on climate change held in Blantyre during the week.
The two organisations held the carnival in collaboration with Blantyre Arts Festival (Baf) in order to use the arts platform to raise more awareness on the effects of climate change and environmental conservation.
Cisonecc National Coordinator Julius Ng’oma said most of the climatic shocks that Malawi and other countries have been experiencing are not going away any time soon.
“That is why we are calling on rich countries who are the biggest contributors to the climatic shocks and least affected, to invest more, to build resilience in poor countries such as Malawi, who have contributed less to environmental degradation but are the hardest hit nonetheless,” Ng’oma said.
He also called on people in the country to accept that climate change is here to stay as witnessed by various natural disasters that have hit the country in recent years.
According to Ng’oma, the occurrences are as a result of human activity.
“Not very long time ago, Malawians used to hear about cyclones and floods from a far but the fact that the country was hit by two cyclones, Ana and Gombe, in one year shows that climate change is among us now, hence the need for more action,” Ng’oma said.
Cure Executive Director Reginald Mumba echoed the calls for more action and less talk on climate change “as Malawi is facing adverse weather conditions and hunger as a result of climate change”.
Mumba said like many African countries, Malawi is facing climate change induced high poverty levels, hence the need for more support from rich countries.
“So, we call upon world leaders to walk the talk on the Paris agreement which reaffirms that developed countries should take the lead in providing financial assistance to countries that are less endowed and more vulnerable, while encouraging voluntary contributions by other parties,” Mumba said.
The calls come ahead of the Conference of Parties (CoP) 27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt next month where world leaders are expected to focus particular attention on strengthening adaptation and resilience, mitigating emissions, facilitating a just transition, and increasing funding and collaboration for essential climate solutions.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.