The Coordinating Assembly of Non Governmental Organisations (CANGO) through the support of the Canada Fund for Local initiative have partnered on a project “Accelerating Gender Equitable Climate Action in Eswatini”. A project that seeks to capacitate a total of 20 women-led organizations in climate action to contribute towards Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implementation for a climate resilient and gender equitable Eswatini. It further seeks to address the country’s challenge of civil society having weak/low capacity to undertake gender equitable climate action as outlined in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Through this partnership CANGO facilitated a rather interactive and engaging 3 day workshop held at Bethel Court, Ezulwini, Eswatini from the 24th-26th January 2024. It was conducted by consultant Ms. Minky Groendewald under the theme “Accelerating Gender Equitable Climate Action in Eswatini”. Topics deliberated on were as follows amongst others:
Day 1: what climate change is, defined and unpacked greenhouse gasses (GHG); warming indicators; impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security, forestry, water resources, human health, coastal, species and Natural areas, climate change response and sealed the day off with a home work activity.
Day 2: Recap on previous day’s work and activity; Climate Change Response continuation NB: the Rio Summit 1992 where the UN framework on climate change (UNFCCC) was adopted to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrates in the atmosphere. Also touched on the different sectors i.e, energy sector, industrial processes & product use, waste sector, resilience and resilience capacities, climate technologies, paris agreement 2015, National Determined Contributions (NDC), NDC undertakings (basic proposal writing and important for identifying a problem); climate finance.
Day 3: Policy, legal and institutional frameworks; reporting, methodology, Adaptation measures, Mitigation measures- Gender equity, gender responsive policies and strategies, Overview of capacities and cost of implementation, Gender and Climate Action in Africa; impact of climate change on women and why women are essential.
Though the Kingdom of Eswatini is the least emitter, it remains the most vulnerable to climate change shocks. It still lacks technical knowledge and skills of technical staff in national institutions dealing with climate change. There remains a need to understand the impacts of climate change on gender in the context of Eswatini. EmaSwati should acknowledge that climate change worsens gender inequality and further exacerbates the cycle of poverty i.e., less time for education and income generation. Studies prove that women in Africa still remain largely affected by climate change in various ways such as resource scarcity that spills over to economic drawbacks, diseases, crop failure.
Considering the above, for the Kingdom to accelerate gender equitable climate actions it requires deliberate action and commitment to attain gender equity and justice through fixing the underlying systemic issues to enable equal access for all to opportunities and tools. It is pivotal for her to be climate resilient to such vulnerabilities and shocks. Furthermore, having women on board and being part of the conversations on climate action including in decision making positions, offering them equal economic opportunities, access to land, financial resources, energy, and water is of essence and a step to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One would applaud the Government for the deliberate commitment in making climate change and related issues a national priority. Such efforts are evidenced through the promulgation of a wide array of National legislations, policies and key Frameworks being implemented to increase response and mitigation in a gender responsive manner. Hence, a thematic area on the new National Gender Policy of 2023, National Determined Contributions (NDC) and several legislations now aligns to gender mainstreaming in climate actions.