Agric sector targeted in emissions cut

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THE Government, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will next week host an Agriculture Sector Greenhouse Gas Inventory Expert Training Workshop aimed at minimising greenhouse gasses emissions in the farming sector.

The workshop, which is being facilitated by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and supported by the Russian Trust Fund, will be held at Kadoma Hotel on Tuesday next week.

The aim of the workshop is the reduction of greenhouse gas emission, in line with country’s obligations to Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Paris Agreement is a treaty within the UNFCCC, which is responsible for dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation and was signed in 2016.

Speaking with The Herald last week, Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry climate change mitigation expert Mr Lawrence Mashungu said agriculture was one of the key sectors where the Government targeted to cut greenhouse gas by 33 percent between now and 2030, without impeding economic growth.

“This workshop is part of our efforts that we are implementing as a ministry to try and meet that obligation to our maximum capacity,” he said. “We are working with key stakeholders to achieve this target.

“On this particular programme, we will be looking at the role of agriculture in implementing NDCs. We expect the agricultural sector to make use of sustainable mechanisms which are climate change-friendly and which as well reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The sector has to use more renewable energy and that will give the nation less emission problems.”

Mr Mashungu said the training initiative was aimed at guiding key stakeholders to reduce emissions.

“The aim of the capacity building workshop is to facilitate interaction between current and prospective experts from various public research institutions so as to provide an overall understanding of the greenhouse gas emission sources and sinks in Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector, to provide capacity building on the UNFCCC and IPCC guidelines and software on GHG inventory preparation, as well as to design the road map for enhancing activity data and development of country-specific emission factors,” he said.

“The AFOLU sector contributes up to 25 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse emissions, with livestock, land use change and management having a significant influence on the GHG concentrations in the atmosphere corresponding to methane from enteric fermentation and non-carbon-dioxide from managed land such as nitrous oxide from agricultural soils and burning of biomass from savannah,” Mr Mashungu said.

“A significant proportion of AFOLU emissions comes from developing countries and, in southern Africa, agriculture and land use change account for 44 percent of regional GHG emissions, whist in Zimbabwe, and the AFOLU sector contributes up to 50 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions.”

Zimbabwe agriculture sector greenhouse gas expert Dr Walter Svinurai said the training workshop was an advanced action in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The workshop targeted trainees from statistical agencies and research institutions who are directly involved in collection of agricultural production and experimental data required to calculate greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

“After the workshop, the experts are expected to have an enhanced understanding of the activity data and emission factor research required to enhance the quality of the greenhouse gas emission inventory

“This will assist the country in meeting its reporting requirements for greenhouse gas emission targets.”

Research and specialist director in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture Water and Rural Resettlement Dr Dumisani Kutywayo said the expert workshop was important in nation building as it will assist in building capacity for measurements, reporting and verification of greenhouse gases.–

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