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Climate change strategies to mitigate bad impacts

Zanzibar’s First Vice- President Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad.Zanzibar’s First Vice- President Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad.

THE negative impact of climate change on Zanzibar can be mitigated should all people on the Islands support the implementation of the recently launched ‘Zanzibar National Climate Change Strategy’ (ZNCCS).

ZNCCS includes capacity building on mitigation and adaptation measures, reduction of carbon-dioxide emission, mainstreaming in development programmes, and formulation of workable plans for future climate change strategies.

Launching the ZNCCS, Zanzibar’s First Vice- President Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, mentioned five areas of concentration in the strategy: disaster risk management and settlement; coastal and marine areas conservation; Climate Smart Agriculture and natural resources management.

“Sustainable forests and renewable energy programmes; and sustainable tourisms are other areas that stakeholders and the general public must focus in minimizing negative impacts of climate change,” Maalim said in a speech he read on behalf of President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein.

Mr Sheha Mjaja said at the brief ceremony -- also attended by Principal Secretaries led by the Chief Secretary Dr Abdulhamid Yahya Mzee, and the representative from UNDP -- that every person in the islands should act seriously to have the implementation of the strategies successful.

The UNDP official cautioned that Zanzibar is largely a low lying island particularly at risk from the impact of climate change, with areas vulnerable to sea level rise, coastal erosion, and high tide.

Dr Omar Dadi Shajak, Principal Secretary, Office of the First Vice-President, said that all leaders have a great role to play in making the climate change strategies realistic.

He thanked the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) for the 2012 study on the impact of climate change on Zanzibar economy.

The authorities also thanked the Global Climate Change Adaptation Partnership (GCCAP), the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), and local people including fishers and farmers who contributed to the formation of the strategy.