By Wallace Mawire
The Government of Zimbabwe in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Russian Trust Fund has began an initiative on the harmonization of the tertiary education curriculum for Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) and Measurement Reporting and Verification (MRV) Training in Zimbabwe’s Forestry Sector.
According to Mr Lawrence Mashungu from the Climate Change Management Department speaking on behalf of Mr Washington Zhakata, Director for the Climate Change Management Department in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement at a workshop on the harmonization of curriculum for low emission development strategy and measurement reporting and verification training in Zimbabwe’s forestry sector held in Harare on 17 to 18 July, 2019, the government of Zimbabwe is implementing a programme, Support Towards Implementing Zimbabwe’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement on climate change (STIZ-NDC) with support from the UNDP-Russian Trust Fund which aims to develop the Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) in order to provide clear direction for low emission development and to build a functional, effective and sustainable domestic Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system for tracking low emission development in Zimbabwe.
“To facilitate effective and sustainable implementation of the Low Emission Development Strategy in Zimbabwe, capacity building for developing viable low emission development projects and MRV systems of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions is necessary. This can only be achieved through a well-structured forestry education curriculum that clearly articulates climate change mitigation issues and the Low Emission Development Strategy,” Mr Mashungu said.
Following a training on improved Tools and Methodologies for Measurement Reporting and Verification Systems based on International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodologies conducted on the 5h to the 9th of November 2018 at the Zimbabwe Institute for Public Administration and Management (ZIPAM), the need to develop a tertiary education curriculum that will ensure that future forestry practitioners have skills, knowledge, and attitudes to sustain the objectives of the LEDS and MRV for GHGs in the forestry sector was identified.
It is reported that inclusion of aspects of Low Emission Development Strategy and Measurement Reporting and Verification for Green House Gas (GHG) emission in the forestry curriculum will enhance capacity for sector institutions to effectively implement the Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) including Measurement Reporting and Verification for Green House Gas emissions.
“This will also enhance work under the National Communications Office reporting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),” Mr Mashungu said.
Mr Mashungu said that the project also aims at facilitating partnerships with investors and companies including Russian business actors and the academic institutions in order to open up investments, collaborations and technological exchange for low emission development.
The training workshop was attended by practitioners and students from universities in Zimbabwe and forestry sector institutions.
The training focused on review of the curricula offered in institutions awarding forestry qualifications based on guidelines for developing training materials, identifying information gaps in view of low emission development strategy and green house gas emissions accounting concepts and the designing of an appropriate curriculum outline that addresses identified gaps for low emission development strategy and green house gas emissions accounting concepts.
Following the training, w workshop report is expected to be produced itemizing gaps in the tertiary forestry curriculum, capacity requirements for low emission development strategy and green house gas accounting and a detailed curriculum outline that addresses the identified gaps.
There are also plans for the production of a draft curriculum for circulation and adoption of the curriculum in the institutions and implementations time frames.
It is reported that the process will take about a year comprising a series of meetings initiated by respective forestry departments at the academic institutions with involvement of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE), the coordinating body of all universities in the country.