Building the Resilience of Landlocked Developing Countries to the Impacts of Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought Zimbabwe
Background • Zimbabwe is a landlocked country covering 390 757km2 • It is divided into 5 agro-ecological regions based on rainfall regimes • Regions 4 and 5 are characterised with low rainfall regimes. • Up to 60% of the country is semi-arid marginal agricultural lands that suffer from drought occurrence and land degradation
Challenges faced by being landlocked such as Zimbabwe • Limited access to marine resources necessary for nutritional provision and livelihoods options leading to high dependency on the terrestrial natural capital. • Trading and investment potential is compromised and costs increased because of the lack of ports eg a Steel company is mooting an idea of pumping molten steel through a pipeline to the port for export.
Challenges cntd.. • Dependence on passage through other countries for global markets, • Roads are quickly damaged due to heavy trucks as they transport bulky products or excess loads on the roads. • High costs of road maintenance compromise the competiveness of Zimbabwe markets • Compromised viability of the agricultural sector due to high import and export costs for inputs and outputs respectively.
Challenges cntd. • Transport systems are susceptible and sensitive to political and economic manipulation • Vulnerability to encroachment of desert like conditions, land degradation and drought. • This is particularly true of the South Eastern regions of Zimbabwe which fall in region 4 and 5.
Challenges cntd • Semi- arid areas are gradually encroaching the previously humid zone turning them to semi-arid transition zones due to climate change. • Zimbabwe has suffered from the effects of climate change • There are more frequent and severe droughts since the 1980s than before. • A new phenomena that was previously very rare is the occurrence of serious droughts
Successes in combating DLDD • Investment in alternative technology to harness those natural resources that are abundant • solar energy though cost is preventing wider use • Irrigation and water harvesting • Empowerment of communities to solve own challenges
Recommendations • Flagship transboundary projects are necessary to reverse DLDD • Signature programmes for landlocked countries • Funding mechanisms for projects • Investment in good transport infrastructure • Access to services by affected communities as well as opening country to ports