You are here:Home>National Assembly Hansard>Vol. 40>NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 30 JANUARY 2014 VOL. 40 NO. 28

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 30 JANUARY 2014 VOL. 40 NO. 28

Thursday, 30th January, 2014

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER

FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION SUMMIT

MR. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that all hon. members have been invited to attend a Food Security and Nutrition Summit being organised by Aline Hope Business Solutions and Training Services (Pvt) Ltd in partnership with Innotec (Pvt) Ltd. The summit will be held from the 30th to 31st of January 2014 at the Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo. Hon. members who wish to attend are being advised that they are expected to pay a registration fee of US$300.00 - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - If I may complete the announcement please, which is against January disease - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - and they meet own cost of travel and accommodation.

I must emphasise that the request for this notice just came to us this afternoon. You can see the dates there are a bit incongruent in terms of travel logistics.

CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP

MR. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that the Portfolio Committee on Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, will have a capacity building workshop on the regulatory framework governing telecommunications. The workshop will be facilitated by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe on the 31st January, 2014 at Fairmile Hotel in Gweru.

FIRST READING

SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND BILL (H. B. 6, 2013)

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT presented the Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill (H. B. 6, 2013).

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE OF PARTIES OF UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE

MS. ANASTANCIA NDHLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move that this House takes note of the report of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (COP19) held from 11th - 22nd November 2013 in Warsaw, Republic of Poland.

MR. MAWERE: I second.

MS. ANNASTANCIA NDHLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to give a report to this august House, Mr. Speaker Sir, of the 19th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19), held from the 11th to the 22nd November, 2013 in Warsaw, Republic of Poland. The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water and Tourism, Hon Anastancia Ndhlovuled a delegation that travelled to Warsaw, Republic of Poland to attend the 19th Session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 9th Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The conference was held under the Technical and High Level Segments which ran from the 11th to the 16th of November and 18th to the 22nd of November 2013 respectively. Other members of the delegation were;-

1. Hon. Tamsanqa Mahlangu, Member of Parliament;

2. Hon. Isaac Mackenzie, Member of Parliament;

3. Hon. Clifford Cameroon Sibanda, Member of Parliament;

4. Mr. Johane Gandiwa, Assistant Clerk of Parliament; and

5. Mr. John Mazani, Committee Clerk and Delegation Secretary

2.0 Brief Background

It is important from the onset to briefly explain what the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (herein after the convention) is all about. The Convention is an international policy response which sets the framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG's) to avoid "dangerous anthropogenic or human interference with the climate system". The Convention has 195 Country Parties and these are concerned by the unprecedented rise in actual and forecasted global temperatures and extreme weather events. These are linked to the increasing atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2 O). For instance, the Report entitled "Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis" which was prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and launched at the conference states that:-

"The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800 000 years. Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions"

3.0 Attendance at the Conference

195 Country Parties took part at the COP 19 as well as observers from a number of international agencies and organisations. The conference was graced by the following dignitaries; His Excellency the Prime Minister of Poland, Mr Donald Task, His Excellency the President of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Ambassador John Asha, the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete in his capacity as the coordinator of the Committee of the African Heads of State and Governments on Climate Change , Ms Chritiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as others who all sought to contribute to negotiations on limiting the ruinous and adverse effects of climate change.

4.0 High Level Segment Presentations

In his address at the conference, the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon noted that climate change was threatening current and future generations and there was need to look no further than the climate catastrophe in the Philippines where Superstorm Haiyan struck in November 2013 and left almost five million people homeless and more than five thousand dead in a few hours. He emphasized that all around the world, people now face and fear the wrath of a warming planet. Scientific evidence was now crystal clear that human activities were the dominant cause of climate change owing to the fact that human induced greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon observed with regret that we are the first human beings ever in the history of mankind to breathe air with 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide and the consequences are profound and dangerous. He highlighted that in Iceland, the rate at which the glaciers were melting was among the fastest in the world and if no action was taken now, Iceland may be a land without ice soon. He further lamented the increasing frequency and periodicity of droughts in the Sahel region where climate extremes were retarding and undermining regional development and food security.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon opined that current actions were insufficient to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. He called on countries to reduce the carbon footprint and work towards climate neutrality. This calls for an urgent need to finalize an ambitious global legally binding agreement on climate change by 2015. The United Nations Secretary General outlined four areas that require urgent intervention.

Firstly, those countries that have not ratified should swiftly ratify the second commitment [period] of the Kyoto Protocol, agreed in Doha. Secondly, there is need to step up climate financing, including long-term finance and the Green Climate Fund. Progress on funding for adaptation and mitigation can fuel confidence and scale up action on the ground. To achieve the large-scale transformation necessary to stabilize the climate, nations must meet their climate finance commitments and make new targets much bolder as well as send the right policy signals for investment.

Thirdly, an action agenda that meets the climate challenge must be formulated urgently. Current pledges were simply inadequate. Fourthly, a firm foundation must be laid for the 2015 agreement. Pursuant to this, the Secretary General of the United Nations will next year convene a Climate Summit in New York which will take place on Tuesday, 23 September 2014, a day before the opening of the annual United National General Assembly debate. This summit is meant to steer political action by the Heads of State and Government.

5.0 Address by His Excellency the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

Speaking, in his capacity as the Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), President Kikwete explained th at climate change poses one of the biggest threats to humanity's well being and its very existence. He highlighted that Africa suffers more than any other continent on the planet and it displays a wider range and diversity of challenges and adversities caused by climate change; yet it has the smallest carbon footprint. Africa's per capita emission is, on average, less than 1 ton per annum. And, with its current growth rate, the per capita emission is not likely to exceed 2 tons, by 2030.

President Kikwete emphasised that Africa does not want to be on the receiving end with regard to climate change and its effects. Therefore, there was need for broad policy measures and otherwise to respond to the needs for mitigation and adaptation. However, Africa was constrained in terms of limited financial resources, technology and skills. He appealed to developed countries to avail adequate, sustainable and predictable financial resources, transfer of technology on concessional basis, establish modalities for financing Green Climate Fund (GCF) and for equitable opportunities in carbon trade. He recalled that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Technical Report showed that in a below 2°C warming pathway, adaptation costs in Africa were estimated to be USD 35 billion per year by the 2040s and USD 200 billion per year by the 2070s. However, going by experience, these resources were unlikely to be realized as Annex 1 developed countries were non-committal in availing the funds to Africa and other developing countries.

His Excellency President Kikwete explained that over the last three years, the financial pledges made by developed countries were not met. In addition, over 70 percent of what has been delivered, went towards addressing mitigation than adaptation and what Africa needed more was adaptation. He called for a Framework that recognizes the vulnerability of African States and addresses their limited capacity in mitigation and adaption.

President Kikwete further appealed for the Framework to continue embodying the "Polluter Pays Principle" and the "Principle of Common but differentiated responsibilities". This is important because it is in the interest of all countries, those in the Kyoto Protocol and those outside it to increase their carbon reduction ambition targets. He maintained that the position of Africa was that developed countries should enhance political will and take appropriate action to reduce Green House Gases (GHG's) emissions by between 25 percent and 40 percent by 2020 and by between 80 percent and 95 percent by 2050 below 1990 levels in line with the recommendation of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He urged all parties to ratify the Doha Amendments for the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol.

6.0 Analysis of the Key Issues

From all the addresses, summary or proceedings, formal and informal consultations and presentations, it was crystal clear that four issues were emerged topical, pivotal and critical. These can be summarised as follows;-

There was need for;-

I. Guaranteed long term and predictable financing to enable a shift to low-carbon;

II. A viable loss and damage mechanism;

III. Increased ambition in abating greenhouse gas emissions in the pre-2020 period and;

IV. A new agreement that defines the low emission, post 2020 economy.

The afore-mentioned interventions may appear simple but in reality, proceedings at COP 19 proved otherwise.

7.0 Financing of Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change

It emerged that there was no clear consensus on financing means and modalities. The Bali Action Plan links mitigation actions of developing countries to financial and technological support from developed countries. Developing countries, on one hand, under the banner of G77 plus China argued that there was need for new, additional and scaled up financing for adaptation and mitigation. Developing countries proposed that public finance must be the main source of climate finance.

Developed countries, on the other, argued for the creation of enabling environments that attract private capital and finance. The United States highlighted and gave prominence to the role of private finance in middle and high income countries. Canada argued that public finance alone will not suffice to address the needs of developing countries. Developing countries maintained that current climate change effects were a result of industrial processes that were initiated by developed countries during the 18th century and these countries must show leadership responsibility and embrace historical responsibility and liability through the provision of long term financing to developing countries. No measurable consensus was reached on the matter and negotiations are set to continue.

8.0 Technological Transfer

Another divisive issue related technological transfer. Effective mechanisms and significant resources to eliminate obstacles to technology transfer and development at affordable cost are needed for developing country parties. Energy efficient technologies are required to reduce carbon emissions. Malaysia, speaking on behalf of the developing countries including China, stressed that technology development and transfer are key to enabling low emission trajectories in developing countries. A call was made for the identification of specific amounts, timelines and sources of financing for technological transfer. Egypt, representing the Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC's) called for a dedicated window for technology transfer in the Green Climate Fund (GCF). China and other countries called for the removal of barriers, including in relation to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR's). The Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) urged technological development and transfer for mitigation as well as adaptation. However, Japan and other Annex 1 developed countries strongly objected the discussion of the suspension of the IPR's. It was clear that they were inclined towards protecting their technological inventions through the use of intellectual property laws. Consequently, no meaningful progress was made on the subject matter and negotiations are set to continue.

9.0 A New Agreement on Climate Change

The meeting agreed on the need for a new legally binding protocol that will replace the Kyoto Protocol. However, to date, only 4 out of the 195 countries parties to the protocol have ratified the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. The Conference of Parties took a unanimous decision that all parties to the Kyoto Protocol must be urged to ratify and implement the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol as a matter of urgency.

In this regard, Mr, Speaker, your delegation recommends that:-

National Assembly Recommendation Number 1/2013

"…the Executive must urgently consider the ratification and tabling in Parliament of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol."

This recommendation is made pursuant to section 327(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that states that:-

"A n international treaty which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President's authority: (a) does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament; and (b) does not form part of the law of Zimbabwe unless it has been incorporated into the law through an Act of Parliament."

The delegation submits that ratifying the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol could be one of the major deliverables of the 1st Session of the Eighth Parliament and is in line with the need to show leadership responsibility in the fight against climate change. The delegation urges the Executive to take all reasonable measures meant to abate the adverse effects of climate change through effective technical, administrative and policy interventions.

In view of the centrality of the debate on climate change globally, the delegation also recommends that:-

National Assembly Recommendation Number 2/2013

"…at least four Members of the Committee on Environment, Water and Tourism should attend annual meetings of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in line with practices in other jurisdictions"

The Zambian delegation was accompanied by the Members of Parliament from the National Assembly of Zambia. At this juncture, Mr Speaker Sir, allow me to express our appreciation to the Administration of Parliament for co-funding, together with AWEPPA, our participation at the 19th Conference of Parliament held in Poland. There is no doubt that such initiatives and interventions will strengthen the competence and oversight role of Members of the committee as well as sharpen their intellect in contributing to debate on matters related to climate change.

10.0 Dates for the 20th Conference of Parties, Lima, Peru

The 20th Session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and CMP 10 will be held in Lima, Peru from the 1st to the 12th of December 2014.

11.0 Conclusion

The 19th Conference of Parties ended on the 22nd of November 2013 with a vote of thanks being extended to the authorities and People of the Republic of Poland for successfully organising and hosting the 19th Session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Zimbabwean delegation safely arrived home on the 22nd of November 2013.

I thank you.

MR. MAHLANGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to support and second our Head of Delegation to the 19th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change which was held from 11th to 22nd November, 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

Mr. Speaker Sir, members of the delegation also attended the Global Legislative Summit which was held alongside COP 19, at Victoria Sofitel Hotel, Warsaw, Poland. At the summit, presentations focussing on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and these were made by the United Nations Environment Programmes (UNEP), United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Members of Parliament shared best practices and challenges relating to equitable benefit sharing from the use of forest resources and public participation and development of environmental and social safeguards, than simply reducing carbon. The summit emphasised the need for international action in tackling deforestation caused by agricultural expansion, conversion to pastureland and infrastructure development. It was agreed that environmental sustainability can only succeed if national Parliaments are involved, given that REDD policies are only feasible with an appropriate legislative base.

Legislators agreed that an enabling regulatory, legislative framework and policy basis is pivotal in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, promoting sustainable forest management, safeguarding the rights of local communities and indigenous people. It was realised that the potentially large international transfers of funds and wide range of stakeholders involved in REDD left the process open to fraud and corruption. Thus, GLOBE International builds the capacity of legislators to advance REDD+ legislation as well as increase transparency and accountability of REDD+ financial flows through parliamentary scrutiny and oversight.

Progress towards national legislation is essential for REDD to work. However, it was noted that many legislators were not familiar with REDD+ as a concept and have limited capacity to engage in legislative deliberations on the topic as REDD+ knowledge often reside exclusively with the Executive. Mexico is perhaps the best example of where REDD legislation is making a difference. In 2012, Mexican legislature was one of the first in the world to pass laws preparing for REDD.

The new laws link Mexican forest emission monitoring systems to international standards, and require that communities who depend on forests for their livelihoods are included in all decision-making on how forests are used. This reduces risk of corruption and land related conflicts. Countries like Columbia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Peru had lots of work in progress regarding REDD+ projects but they encountered challenges. These challenges included implementation problems once laws are in place, too much focus on monetary benefits at the expense of non-monetary benefits of the REDD+, REDD+ knowledge gap between environmental scientists and local communities, lack of proactiveness in passing national forest legislation without waiting for the process of ratification of international agreements and inconclusive discussions on laws to do with land tenure.

Last but not least, I want to challenge hon. Members of Parliament to take issues of climate change and implement sustainable environment conservation programmes in their constituencies and not to politicise them. We should conscientise our communities against dangers of veld fires. In my constituency Nkulumane, I have rallied people towards environment preservation programmes as a way of preserving our environment against climate change. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. CROSS: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I just want to welcome this motion this afternoon because I think the subject of climate change has not been adequately addressed in public fora around the world. I think this a unique opportunity for Parliament to make its voice heard on this critical issue. I think many countries were num on the subject of climate change and this is reflected by the extreme weather conditions in many parts of the globe. In particular here in Zimbabwe, I would like to draw attention to a few critical issues. One is the fact that we have a climate change office; whose staff are extremely competent individuals and scientists. I think we need to make sure they are adequately funded to do the job they are intended to do.

Secondly, this is critical and it is a cross cutting issue, that every ministry, that deals with issues related to emissions should infact be held responsible for ensuring that all projects in Zimbabwe are climate friendly. I am talking particularly about expansions of power stations which we are currently being planned. It seems to me that these are almost being planned without regard to the issue of climate change.

If you go to South Africa, the majority of power is generated by coal. You go to ports in South Africa, you actually smell coal in the atmosphere. This is not something that as a developing country we can ignore.

The last point I want to raise here Mr. Speaker, is the issue of our indigenous forest. Because of the growth in our tobacco industry, we are clearing about 300 000 hectares of forest in the Mashonaland area on an annual basis. This was a problem for many years in this country, and was resolved by adopting other technologies - [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - I am not attacking tobacco because it is critical to us. What I am attacking is the means of curing tobacco. What we have to do is to seek means, with the technologies available in Zimbabwe, for cleaner tobacco curing and we have to make sure that these are adopted and implemented.

The last thing I would like to talk about is the question of the future of the indigenous forest in Matabeleland North. This represents the largest area of indigenous forest in Zimbabwe of over three million hactres of forest and it is in a highly degraded state. I would like to suggest Mr. Speaker Sir that we, as a House ought to support investigations into the situation and make sure that this deterioration in our indigenous forest resources in Matabeleland North is halted and reversed. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

MR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to add my voice on the report that has been tabled by the hon. members who attended the COP (19) in Warsaw, Poland. The issues that have been raised are very pertinent for there is no any other topic that is relevant to development than climate. I would want to explain the importance of this topic to this august Assembly in support of the report. Mr. Speaker Sir, the earth is protected from the effects of the sun by the ozone layer. I am sure we have all done Geography. There is an ozone layer which protects the earth from the effects of the sun. This ozone layer is facing threat from carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse emissions from the earth. If this carbon dioxide and other emissions continue to be released into the atmosphere, they will deplete the ozone layer, therefore exposing the earth to the vagaries of climate change. That is why the United Nations and other climate organisations have found it very necessary to come up with instruments and statutes that promote environmental conservation.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the remedy therefore, is to make sure that all emissions that threaten the ozone layer are mitigated. In Zimbabwe, if you look at the motor vehicle population, there are a lot of emissions of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Other countries like Europe have got legislation to say, annually, cars must undergo maintenance check or service check to check the level of carbon dioxide emission. I think we need to adopt that legislation in Zimbabwe so that we reduce carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the question of climate change is quite evident. If you look at the agricultural sector, our seasons are changing. We are now receiving rains rather late, whereas during the 60s and the 70s, we used to receive rains quite early. All that is a manifestation of effects of climate change on our country.

Why is the environment important to preserve? The environment is very important especially forestation or reforestation. Vegetation or trees are very important because they absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. The more you cut trees and vegetation means that the agents that can absorb carbon dioxide are being reduced. Therefore, desertification and destruction of forests exacerbates the impact of climate change.

Hon. Edward Cross has just referred to the effects of coal on the environment. This is why we must go green. We must embrace the green technology. In our quests to supply energy to the country, let us adopt environmentally friendly technologies that will help us generate power like windmill stations, hydro-electric stations and solar power which is environmentally friendly. This is because the coal technology is being phased out because of its impact on climate and environmental change.

The question of funding is also very important because all these programmes require training and funding. So, it is important for the fiscus, the Treasury to deploy resources to the Ministry of Environment so that these pro-active measures to promote environmental awareness can be encouraged. This Committee is a very important committee and the work that they are doing is very significant.

I would even go further to support the presenter. Let Zimbabwe domesticate all protocols and conventions on climate change so that we can implement them and make sure that we plant trees and preserve the environment to reduce impact of emission of greenhouse gasses and carbon monoxide. I would want to thank the committee and urge them to continue with their good work. I thank you.

DR. SHUMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would want to start by commending the committee for their report. Listening to the debate from the other hon. members, I would like the Committee as it has noted, before we push for the domestication of these conventions, to consider some of the following. I believe that the developed countries, as we have already noted, have exploited the environment to the detriment of the developing nations. In that light, we need the conventions to be clear in giving a graduated formula with which it can allow the developing nations to be able to exploit their natural resources to the extent that they are not prejudiced by simply signing off and domesticating these conventions.

In that light, we need to consider the funding of such a process, the funding for new technologies, the funding that is required for the training and the funding that is required for educating at a national level. I believe such funding must be discussed with those that are sponsoring the conventions. Yes, indeed Zimbabwe would be a beneficiary for such climate change policies but we have to consider that developing nations have had the short-end of the stick. Zimbabwe is not immune to the effects of climate change that are caused by non-compliance of other nations. Therefore, in domesticating such a Convention, we need to consider, not only regional participation, but also the funding of these initiatives. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would want to first congratulate the mover and the seconder of this very important report on the aspect of climate change. I really want to appreciate the discussions and the discourse that took place in Poland. I want to contribute two or three points before I sit down.

There is a current discourse on how best to conserve the environment. I may want to just buttress the point raised by the contributors of the report. There is currently, in the intellectual circles and also in the policy making circles, a big debate around those who are saying we should preserve the environment for the sake of the environment because God so created the environment. This is what is called the bio-centric approach. But, there are also those who say we cannot just conserve the environment for the sake of it, but we must always exploit the environment so that it is sustainably in a sustainable way. This is what is called the utilitarian approach -[Laughter]-

I am trying to educate the Finance Minister here. I am making reference to these two approaches because they have a bearing on the policy measures that we are going to adopt. If we are going to look at the sustainable platform in terms of making sure that we sustainably preserve our environment, we need to do 1, 2, and 3 measures which I am going to propose.

Before I go there, I just what to graphically illustrate to you Hon. Speaker Sir, that according to the report which was done by the Forestry Commission in 2010, per year we are losing almost 330 000 hectares of forestry or woodlands cover in the country on account of deforestation; on account of use for legitimate reasons like medicinal purposes in terms of our trees. I know kuti n'anga dzimwe dziri munoumu. They use our trees for such purposes. We are not going to be able to deal with the issue of climate change if we also do not allow a policy mix which is going to respond to the issue of environmental degradation in the context of the approaches that I have told you.

The first issue, which I feel as a Member of Parliament is supposed to be dealt with, is the issue of settlement patterns in the country. You find that yes we must have our chiefs and our traditional leaders performing the important role of determining who should settle where. But, I think that there has to be a framework in terms of the law of how people are going to be settled, particularly, in the rural areas.

Right now, if you go into a rural area, the chief, depending on where he would have spent the previous night -[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections]- Yes, you know that very well. He would just go and walk, peg steps and paces to say this is where you are staying. Even in wetlands and even exacerbating stream bank cultivation, the Government has to come in to say that these are parameters of settlement. This is how we are going to be able to sustainably deal with the issue of climate change -[AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections]-

No, I respect them, I said our chiefs should continue to play their role, but, let it be done in the context of certain laws so that we do not have people settling in wetlands and in paddocks. So, that issue of settlement patterns is very important Mr. Speaker. We need now to put an Act in place so that we guide our chiefs and our local authorities in terms of how they are going to settle people in the rural areas. We need now to move a scale up in terms of even the issue of development. We now have to talk about water supply, power supply and areas that are reserved for grazing for our animals so that things are not done in a haphazard manner. The fact that we are doing things in a haphazard manner is actually a sure way to open the gates to the hell of climate change. So, we need to make sure that we deal with this issue in a very comprehensive manner so that we are able to respond to this issue.

The second point, which I think is an intervention programme, is an investment in awareness programmes on how we are going to promote climate change. Right now climate change is not well understood. Let us revisit our curricula. Let us deal with our education curricula so that we are able to refine it, to make sure that we educate our people on climate change at primary level, at pre-school level just like what we did with HIV because it is actually a very important point.

Not only that Mr. Speaker Sir, we also want to make sure that companies themselves are given green policies so that they are given carbon credits. Like in Brazil, those companies that have good policies that are progressing are given certain carbon credits to also engender and promote the issue of the preservation of the environment. I believe that, once we do that, coupled with an investment fund, almost a green fund, which is going to be set up by Government, we are going to revive that which was given to us by God.

Let us remember Mr. Speaker Sir, which men were given the responsibility to be in charge of the affairs, not only of men themselves, but also of the environment. We are given the dominion over fauna and flora but we are not given the diminution. The problem is that we are moving from the dominion to the diminution. We are now destroying instead of preserving. We are now attacking instead of protecting and this is where we need to move so that we are able to protect our environment and we are able to also take a first in terms of dealing with issues of climate change.

I genuinely believe that once we have a transformation, even of our laws, if you look at our Environmental Management Act, it has to be reviewed. It has a lot of loopholes in terms of people who cut trees. It is a lacuna and there are vacuums there. We need to make sure that we deal with those policy lacunas and the legislative problems. Of course, the gravamen being that, there are people who cut down trees for commercial purposes in the rural areas. Those people must be penalised. Those people who are cutting for domestic purposes, we understand because we have not provided alternative sources of energy. But, let us have penalties for people who cut wood indiscriminately for commercial purposes.

What do we do because they are not replacing these trees, we are also making sure that if somebody does it in a rural area, let us give powers to the traditional leaders and kraal heads so that they fine people. If you do not mind, we can also give it to political party structures -[Laughter]-

Of course we know that there will be circumstances but honestly, on a serious note Hon. Speaker Sir, I genuinely believe that the debate on climate change is a debate that we must all make sure that we take seriously as a country if we are to sustainably make Zimbabwe green. Let the vision be to build a green Zimbabwe. Let us restore our areas, our woodlands, our forests and let us also restore even our dams and our rivers that are being attacked by stream bank cultivation and siltation. We can only do that through practicing. It is not a question of resources even. It is a question of our practice, attitude and the policy mix. Our policy architecture is what we must visit. Having said that, I know we would ably manage to discharge over the affairs of the environment, a responsibility given to us by our good God. I thank you very much.

*MR. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to add my voice to the report that has been tabled before this National Assembly. It is an important report and I want to support Hon. Chamisa for the debate that he has given. But, when I look at this issue, from where it began, Hon. Mashakada told us about the ozone layer and about the gasses from the industries which actually pollute our air and affect our environment.

I think, in these conventions that they attend, they should assist us. The issue of funding was raised and we need to be capacitated so that we are able to conserve our environment.

We do not have a strong industry that is actually emitting serious carbon gases as compared to the industrialised countries because the industrialised countries are the ones that have most of the pollution. So, what we request is that they should assist us so that when we go out there and talk to people about it, that might also assist us. Then there is the issue of the rural areas. I think there is a programme that the Government was working on with the traditional leaders to reduce deforestation but they are not adequately capacitated and hence need assistance.

In the rural areas where I come from, in Buhera West, and even in the village , it is an offence to cut down trees. It was a measure that was put by the Government as a means of educating the people on the importance of conserving our environment and avoiding deforestation. Also on the issue of the chiefs resettling people, yes, they might not have adequate knowledge on resettlement because that is modern, but I think in some areas, they are being assisted by Committees that have been set up which consist of people who know more about the environment. So, we need to appeal for more of such assistance and there is need to educate people in such communities.

I also realise that as a country, we are trying our best because we actually have a national tree planting day in December. As Members of Parliament, we should also be looking after our environment and encouraging people to plant more trees on this national tree planting day and have woodlots. That will assist us to have clean air - oxygen, for us to breathe. As members, we should also encourage each other to get more information to educate our traditional leaders and village heads on areas where they are lacking in terms of education on resettlement.

I believe that if we had adequate money, as a nation we would have programmes that will help us to conserve our environment in Zimbabwe. I say that because if you look at the Primary Education syllabus, the issue of environment is also there especially in grades 3, 4 and 5. It is a good measure being adopted by Government that we should fully support. This environment issue is very important because what we want is sustainability so that the future generation can have a good environment.

Then on the issue of farming of tobacco, as the people of Zimbabwe, after independence, we adopted the farming of tobacco that was being grown by our colonisers. We request that those who were farming tobacco before our independence should assist us with information as to how we can cure our tobacco, where currently we are using our trees. I believe that those who are currently engaged in tobacco farming have adopted a system whereby they are also planting trees to replace the trees they would have cut down when curing tobacco. I thank you.

*MR MUKWENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I have stood up to support the motion that was presented by the Chairperson of the Committee on Environment who went to Poland with her delegation. In short, she mentioned what transpired and what came out of the global meeting under the UN. Yes, it is a good programme for us to take cognisance of climate change. The ozone layer catastrophe was caused by the developed countries. Hon. Mashakada mentioned how these countries destroyed the ozone layer. During the First World War, these countries used advanced weapons and during the Second World War as well and this destroyed the ozone layer. They came into Africa and colonised it. They took timber from Africa and they were also destroying the ozone layer and the environment. Now these countries actually have a huge debt to pay. They should contribute and pay fines that should address the issue of climate change.

How can a bill be paid by the people who were victims of losing their resources instead of by those who took the resources? I also want to thank Hon. Mandipaka, who talked about industries and how the developed countries became more developed. I think they used a lot of timber and coal in the industries which damaged the ozone layer and for that reason, they need to pay for that. Therefore compensation has to come from the developed countries.

Now, coming to Zimbabwe, there has been the land reform programme. Can we really say that the land reform and farming of tobacco has led to deforestation? No, that is not true. We know that the education is there and what we request is for the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture to reinforce in rural areas, resettlements and urban areas, education on how we can address this challenge. All the countries that have caused this climate change should avail funding for us to mitigate the effects of climate change.

*MR MAPIKI: First and foremost, I would like to thank the hon. Members who attended the meeting on our behalf. The issue is that we have tried our best as Zimbabwe to plant trees especially in Shamva South, which is my constituency. From November to December we have planted 2 million trees such as mangoes, moringa and gums. This speaks volumes and it means if we are in this august House, let us not just talk but work when we go back to our constituencies. In line with the value addition in the Zim Asset, we are giving most of our constituents mango trees so they can graft them into those big mangoes to enable tinning of jam and drinks.

They are also encouraged to plant gum trees for purposes of curring tobacco. The problem that has not been rectified is that of the developed countries that are coming to our country, get hardwood timber from Mozambique and Lupane in Bulawayo. When hardwood timber is sawn, it brings out saw dust and once burnt by the sun it will produce a lot of heat which then affects the ozone layer. So, we were thinking that the so called developed countries should compensate or should bring in funds to assist us. If we look at countries such as Britain and America they threw uranium bombs in Iraq but even if we were to plant trees and have people of such minds, our efforts will come to naught. If you go to Syria, there are tonnes and tonnes of ammunition that is toxic but is being used in Syria because it has a lot of silk and uranium. It is that smoke that comes from such bombs that affects the ozone layer. As a result, we then have acid rain. Those that are researching, urging us to plant trees are misdirecting their attention. The people in America are the ones who should pay for what they did. We should not be penalised for what we did not commit, we should leave that to the people in America. We are accused of not having the funds to do this but people in America are the ones that are imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe, so, how then are we expected to raise such funding?

Mr. Speaker, if you are hamstrung, you cannot be able to raise the funds. I thought I should add my ideas to the issue that was raised by hon. members. Even if we leave this House angry as we might, we should plant more trees in our constituencies. Let us urge our people not to disturb lives in the rivers. I thank you.

*MS. ZEMURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank our Committee; it was our Chairperson who was speaking. What is evident in most of the areas that we reside in is lack of education. We should never assume that our people know. People do not know, they need to be educated. The issue of climate change should also be tackled in schools. School children should be taught on the importance of the need to preserve our trees. There should be a change in curriculum for school children so that, fundamental issues that pertain to our country are taught to school children. I want to believe that they learnt a lot in Poland but we are also witnessing this in Zimbabwe.

The issue of electricity, the power cuts that happen as a result of the shortage of electricity, people have to go and look for firewood. Firewood can only be obtained from the bush. People have no choice but to go to the bush and get firewood. As Parliamentarians we should have checks and balances on each other, so that we do not destroy our country because we are Zimbabweans and this is the only place that we have. Once we go to South Africa, we become foreigners.

We should take note that once the village leadership is enlightened about the importance of conservation of trees, starting from the village heads. Women should be aware that if they cut trees, it will have an effect on the ozone layer, and this will affect our country. We have learnt a lot of things and I want to urge that this education should be passed on to the villages and that as honourable members, we should also preach that same gospel on the importance of trees, even grass or any of our natural environment. Fires destroy our natural environment. Tobacco, yes we allege that it is causing deforestation but once people are educated, they will know how to conduct themselves. They must be taught the right way to grow tobacco, using other forms of firing barns like coal. As a result of the usage of coal, our forests are regaining their beauty.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we should not just come here for the purposes of opposing, we should have constructive criticism. We should bear in mind that the level of education that we have here is not the same as the one that is at the village. That being the case, Parliamentarians should go and urge or enlighten our people and give examples, and take part in the tree planting day. I thank you.

*MR. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to support and thank those that were in Poland who brought the motion on climate change today. I would want you Mr. Speaker, Sir to be cognisant of the fact that the issue of tobacco is good on one side and bad on the other. But the history of tobacco dates back a long time ago. It was being grown as far back as 1880. Thereafter, it was then commercialised so that it could not be sold as a commercial crop and not for subsistence.

What I want the majority to know is that if we continue without the issue of the availability of electricity in the rural areas or in our cities, there will be deforestation as people want to cure their tobacco. Even without tobacco curing, people were continuing to cut down trees as an alternative form of energy due to lack of electricity. I say so, Mr. Speaker, because where I come from in Chegutu, there is a place that I will constantly mention where they do not cure tobacco but because of the shortage of electricity for more than 14 years, people have gone into the forest and cut down trees so that they can have some form of energy at their houses which they mostly use for cooking. So, we want people that are responsible for the provision of electricity to quickly attend to the issue of the availability of electricity, since our constituents have need for electricity for their cooking. This will alleviate the cutting down of the trees.

Mr. Speaker, at the moment tobacco is being grown for commercial purposes. I would want to urge those that are growing tobacco, whom we refer to as A1 farmers, that they should have woodlands so that they can have their own trees. The A2 farmers or commercial farmers at large, should be urged before getting into tobacco farming business that they start by growing trees. The trees should be more than those that are found on the woodlots and by so doing Mr. Speaker, we will have put conditions that will enable us to cure our tobacco without resorting to cutting down trees that we would not have planted. We will resort to cutting down of trees that we would have planted, for the purpose of curing our tobacco.

Why do I say so, let us say for instance in 1994, tobacco brought in US$430 million from the proceeds of the sale of tobacco. At the moment Mr. Speaker Sir, you would see that we are exporting or selling tobacco in its raw state. What happens is that, after processing, a packet of 20 cigarettes will be sold say for US$2. Before processing that tobacco, we will sell it at most at US$5/kg. I would want Mr. Speaker, to place it on record that if we were to construct factories or force those who buy our tobacco to value-add our tobacco by processing it in this country before they export it outside the country after beneficiation, we can have money to buy trees so that we can have forests in our country. If we are to come up with such a regulation, that will enable us to conserve our forests and by so doing, we will be able to avoid deforestation, climate change and also job exportation.

When mention of tobacco is made, let me explain about tobacco because there are 17 species but if I have to mention the chemical names, I would spend the entire day doing that, Mr. Speaker Sir. The real premium brand tobacco is actually acquired from this country, hence my alluding to the fact that we should set up our own tobacco factories for processing to enhance the value of tobacco. This Mr. Speaker Sir, is a major issue. It helps in the creation of jobs for our children. I am also disturbed that the bulk of the tobacco comes from Mashonaland West, Chegutu and other places such as Hurungwe. By exporting it unprocessed, we are also exporting jobs for our children because all we do is just curing the tobacco and then fail to be involved in reforestation. Because we are exporting our tobacco in its primary state, we should come up with a regulation that stipulates that beneficiation should be a must and that those involved should construct industries in this country. That can help reduce the effects of climate change Mr. Speaker. I thank you.

*MR. MACKENZIE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I also want to contribute on the aspect of environmental conservation. I believe we all agree that the coming of rains filled with hailstorms with adverse effects of sweeping away our roads is caused by climate change which is caused by deforestation and the burning up of forests, amongst others.

As a result, I can see that we have a mammoth task to enlighten people about the importance of forests conservation and the keeping of the natural resources. People should be taught how to look after the forests and that if they were to keep the trees well, they can benefit from it. We cannot simply use it for building houses.

I once worked for Nyaminyami Rural District Council and I know that in Zimbabwe, we have four councils namely Binga, Nyaminyami, Hurungwe and Mbire which are raising funds from selling credits because of keeping forests. Credits are monies which are coming from just looking after trees. People in those areas now know that looking after forests is now a commercial business similar to the CAMPFIRE Project. I urge this Committee to also make time to talk to Kariba and those who can access the internet can review the website of Kariba Rednet. You will find that they are doing a splendid job. A lot of money is being made from the sale of credits and some of these monies are going direct to the communities while some go to the local authorities and councils.

May I say a week ago, there were a lot of rains which swept a lot of roads in our constituency in Kariba. Some of the monies that were used to rehabilitate those roads, for instance, US$3000.00 came from the community funds which are proceeds from looking after the forests.

I would want to say as hon. members of Parliament, should encourage our people to look after the forests but not only looking after the forests, but considering that there are some credits which can be sold and raise funds for the community. People should not just keep trees for the sake of doing so.

The Kariba Red Project Mr. Speaker, has a lot of work to do and the communities now know that when the grass is now dry, they come up with fireguards and that there should be early burnings. If you go to Mbire, Nyaminyami, Kariba and Binga, they are doing this. I am mentioning this because some hon. members may be ignorant of this fact. In December last year, the Nyaminyami Council got over US$55 000 from taking care of the trees. Mbire got US$60 000 and I would not know the actual amount that Binga got, I urge all our councils to go into such projects because I do not know of a council that does not have any forests. The maintenance of these forests will enhance the rainfall pattern. We are planting trees. Others argue that tobacco curing has caused deforestation but at the moment we have gone a step further and we are now using coal. A long time ago, they used firewood to cure tobacco. I heard someone saying a lot of trees have been cut down in Mashonaland West because they are growing tobacco but I would want the member to know that we now grow a lot of trees to replace the ones we are using to cure tobacco and we are also using coal to cure tobacco. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

*MR. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thought I would add my voice to this motion that involves science, what its repercussions are in as far as our life is concerned and its effects on droughts. There is an outcry on the cutting down of trees. We would be cutting down our trees but they are making this outcry from their overseas countries.

The speakers who spoke before me have correctly pointed out that it is Europe that has caused this catastrophe. The people in Europe believe that we are stupid. They commit their deeds and instead of owning up their misdeeds, they drag us on board and allege that we are part to that problem. We should make sure that this problem is resolved and we should refuse to be used by people who pretend to be clever.

The whites used to grow tobacco before the Land Resettlement Programme. After the land distribution that was at the blessing of His Excellency, Cde. R.G. Mugabe, they realised that we can grow tobacco better. We all know that if we are to look at the history of tobacco like we do at museums, history would show that a cigarette that is not made using Zimbabwean tobacco does not taste good. So, they have observed that we are doing better than the whites in terms of growing tobacco. As black Africans, I urge us to be vigilant and that we should not forget that everything that we do, they will paint it in black. We should not just accept everything; we should learn to say no. We have on several occasions been told by our President that whites are clever and I would want to give you an example of their cleverness. These are some of the things that we should discuss in this House as time goes on than using our time talking about the ozone layer which was caused by those elsewhere.

History says that when some whites came to this country, they became lustful of our black women.

*MR. MADZIMURE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, I believe there has been the wrong use of the terms in the language. The issue of the taking of women and the issue of ozone layer are two different things. When Hon. Anastancia Ndhlovu presented her report, it was in English and maybe she should have presented it using Shona.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, you have mentioned something that is out of the motion. The issue concerning women is astray. Go ahead hon. member.

* MR. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will leave out the issue but I am saying we should be wary of our enemies. They are not sleeping trying to craft ideas to ensure that we do not develop in this country. Tobacco should be grown and once one sells their tobacco, they should give the farmer trees as a form of donation so that the farmer can go and plant these trees. By so doing, we continue growing tobacco. I see this as a ploy to dissuade us from growing tobacco. Forewarned is forearmed Mr. Speaker.

We have problems in trying to come up with gold. The people that deal with the environment are the ones that have caused difficulties as far as the ozone layer is concerned. There is alluvial gold which we can lay our hands easily on the people who deal with the environment allowed the Chinese to set up their machinery in the middle of the river. That is not so because they cannot get alluvial gold. They are doing this so that we could blame our Chinese friends. Once they set up their machinery in the middle of the river, the river will not flow and we end up finger pointing the Chinese. It was them who gave the Chinese wrong advice. They should have set their machinery a kilometre away from the river. We have problems in Matebeleland and we are now drawing water from the Zambezi River. We should have asked the Chinese to set up their plant properly at the required distance from the river. The river would have kept on flowing and we would not be drawing water from Kariba.

The ozone layer issue was caused by the Europeans. It has been caused by the bombs they were detonating in Iraq when they were killing people and now they are saying it is affecting the ozone layer. We should be careful about this. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*MR. MASHAYAMOMBE: I also want to add my voice on the issue of climate change. There are certain things that we need to examine as the Government of Zimbabwe, especially the issue of climate change. Currently, we are being asked to ratify these protocols but these are the ones that actually caused the industrial revolution and thesecountries are now advising us that there is climate change. For example, if we take China, United States and Europe, they are the ones that destroyed the ozone layer. We are now being told to use sophisticated machines to reduce emissions but we do not have the funds as Zimbabwe. We still have our old machines that emit a lot of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and we are being told to stop using those machines. We are being told not to grow tobacco because it causes deforestation. However, when the Europeans were still here, they used to cure their tobacco using firewood. They call it deforestation in areas such as Seke. As a country, we need to look into that to avoid destroying our industries as we will be required to cure tobacco using coal. How many people can afford coal to cure their tobacco? What we would like to do is that, as a country, we need to come up with other strategies to assist us without destroying the systems that most farmers are aware of. These include planting of more trees and promoting the use of other modern equipment without necessarily banning the traditional means of curing tobacco. Once we ban the traditional means, we will be regressing instead of progressing in terms of development.

DR. J. GUMBO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

MS. D. SIBANDA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 4th February, 2014.

On the motion of DR. J. GUMBO, seconded by MS. D. SIBANDA , the House adjourned at Two Minutes to Four o'clock p.m. until Tuesday 4th February, 2014.

Last modified on Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:13
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard Vol. 40 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 30 JANUARY 2014 VOL. 40 NO. 28