Innovative and integrated approaches to water, energy and food security management are required in the Zambezi Basin are required to optimize to use of resources, balance competing demands and maximize benefits. As the three sectors are inextricably linked, uncoordinated development and management in one area has the capacity to negatively impact on the others.
Food security is under threat in the Zambezi River Basin following a prediction of El Niño weather during the 2015/16 agricultural season.The rainfall outlook released by experts at the 19th Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-19) held late August in 2015 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, indicates that southern Africa is expected to receive insufficient rainfall from October 2015 to March 2016.
The recently signed protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons in the SADC region has much to offer the Zambezi River Basin where communities share assets, cultural values, traditional leadership, economic opportunities and languages.
WATER, ENERGY and Food Security are closely interlinked and river basin organisations have an important role in facilitating an integrated approach to water resources management that supports development in the other sectors.
The process that led to the formation of the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZamCom) has had major impact on southern Africa’s perspective of transboundary issues. It propelled these issues to the top of the political agenda in SADC.
CLIMATE AND human pressure on resources are significantly changing the environment in the Zambezi river basin, as illustrated in a publication to be launched in 2013, the Zambezi River Basin Atlas of the Changing Environment.
THE PERMANENT Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM) Secretariat is now fully operational in Harare, Zimbabwe.
This follows the appointment of an Executive Secretary who took office in July 2014, and was joined by professional and support staff in January 2015.
The planet is heating up, almost certainly due to the increase in greenhouse gases caused by human activity, and the signs are beginning to show. Debate on climate change and its link to natural disasters has been revived in the wake of recent floods that inundated some parts of the Zambezi river basin following a prolonged drought.
Participation in decision-making in the management of the Zambezi river basin is set to include all the eight riparian states following the launch of phase two of a SADC Water Sector Coordinating Unit programme. The programme seeks to set up a water resources information system that will provide information on activities on the basin.
CLIMATE EXPERTS from southern Africa have adopted a draft common regional position on the forthcoming climate change negotiations set for Lima, Peru in December.
Water Experts have been urged to adopt a different approach in water resources development and management if they are to increase effective stakeholder participation at community level.