MINISTRY of Green Economy and Environment Permanent Secretary John Msimuko says government has a duty to make citizens understand the concepts of green economy in order to yield positive results from green economy policies.

And European Union Head of Section, Macroeconomics, Rural Development and Regional Cooperation Mathias Reusing says EU’s priorities and the new dawn government’s agenda on climate change align quite well.

Speaking during a certificate presentation ceremony, Friday, Msimuko said every Zambian must be able to translate what green economy means to them.

“As a ministry, as a government, we have a big duty to carry citizens along in understanding the concepts of green economy and other related concepts. Until we do that, our efforts will not yield any results. We must be able to ensure that everyone in the village and a person in the compound; anywhere in the country is able to translate what green economy means to them and what they are doing for their livelihood,” Msimuko said.

And Msimuko thanked the European Union for facilitating a two-week climate training for officers from his ministry.

“Government is grateful for the support from the European Union aimed at addressing the impacts of climate change and the mainstreaming green economy aspirations in the development plans. I am aware that this support includes technical assistance to the department of green economy and climate change. And is aimed at assisting the government to effectively implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for Zambia and to contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the National Policy on Climate Change (NPCC). Indicator outputs of this support include: Developing concept papers addressing “green deal” focal areas relevant to Zambia that guide the EU-Zambia 2021-2027 National Indicative Programme (NIP) formulation, and cluster 33 NDC concept ideas for development of at least two bankable NDCs actions; Updating government communication and advocacy strategy on climate change and develop climate action communication tools; and Strengthening green economy and climate change department’s institutional capacity to develop bankable projects, monitor, evaluate, report and coordinate on-going climate actions, and perform NDCs gap analysis,” he said.

“This training is important to the ministry as it will strengthen the ministry’s capacity to monitor all climate change projects/programmes and provide on time information to a variety of users including decision makers. Government congratulates you for successfully completing this training. You are expected to put in practice the skills acquired during this training. The Department of Green Economy and Climate Change is applauded for ensuring that this training takes place and also inviting officers from other Departments to be part of the training. Special thanks also goes to the trainers from SEGOREMA for their tireless efforts and ensuring that this training takes place despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Reusing said the EU’s priorities and the new dawn government’s agenda on climate change aligned quite well.

“Our priorities as the European Union and the agenda of the new dawn government of Zambia align quite well in terms of climate change. We as European Green D and his Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema commit to environmental sustainability which we hope will remain in the 8th National Development Plan. And of course, the creation of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment is also quite a statement on which we can build our green partnerships with Zambia and the European Union. Climate is a challenge, it’s not only a challenge for you, it is in Asia, and it is in the Pacific. It is very negative but we have to see opportunities also, we have to get the best out of it and we have to see on how we can cope and how we can have a future for our children,” he said.

Reusing urged recipients of the certificates to share the information on climate change across different government sectors.

“In view of our commitments, the joint commitments with those of your President, you have to be strongly engaged to lead on scaling up supervision on climate change. Collect, use and transform data into information because it’s important to jump from data to information, data is vast but you have to get information from it to make it digestible and to update politicians to make decisions based on evidence. And of course, it is very important to inform the Zambian public and the Zambian citizen – what is climate change, what is green economy and what does it help me and where do I find myself in terms of jobs, in terms of opportunities? Also don’t keep this information to yourself since you are a sector ministry, you have also to work with your peers’ sector ministries which might not even have a focal person of climate change or maybe they have. And I can assure you that we as the European Union, you will be closely welcome as government on that, especially this ministry, the ministry of green economy because our priority number one is tight partnerships for sustainable recovery, jobs, even decent jobs recorded in Zambia,” said Reusing.