Environmental sustainability provides major opportunities to deliver better results for children
Climate change and environmental degradation undermine the rights of every child, especially the most disadvantaged. UNICEF is committed to increase its contribution to environmental sustainability, given both the importance of the issue to children and the global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Children are an especially vulnerable group and are at increased risk from disease, under-nutrition, water scarcity, disasters and the collapse of public services and infrastructure resulting from extreme events.
Access to clean safe water is crucial for good health and development of children.
Unsafe drinking water exposes children to the risk of contracting water borne diseases. Climate change will make access to clean water and sanitation facilities even more difficult.
Environment and Climate Change work at UNICEF Zimbabwe
Access to energy is fundamental to improving the quality of life and is a key imperative to the development of children. Lack of access to energy services dramatically affects and undermines health, limits opportunities for education and development and can reduce a family’s potential to rise out of poverty.
UNICEF Zimbabwe is currently exploring options for scaling up cookstoves use especially in line with urban resilience and sustainable cities as well as within our nutrition programme.
Almost half of the world relies on biomass for cooking. In Zimbabwe, this figure is 74 per cent.
This reliance on biomass has huge implications for health, environment, gender, and poverty alleviation. Exposure to smoke from indoor air pollution and the burden of fuelwood collection has many negative health consequences.
With so many communities relying on biomass, improved cookstoves can make a significant difference.
The Climate Section has been supporting Ministry of Energy and Power development in Co-Chairing the Working Group on Efficient Cookstoves in the country which UNICEF helped to establish. The Working Group is currently working on
- Carrying out a baseline on types of stoves in use in country and where
- The Baseline will inform the setting of a national target for cookstove penetration for the country
- Developing a national cookstoves strategy and road map for the country
- Setting up standards for cookstoves being produced and distributed in country
- Developing sustainable distribution models for cookstoves
Renewable energy programmes
- Green Innovations Hub phase II (GiHUB II)
This project promotes green innovations, jobs and schools. Targets for GiHUB were met as 15 innovators (3 females and 12 males) have been trained and will receive grants by December 2018, 10interns (4 females and 6 males) have been recruited and 10 environmental clubs are implementing their projects.
- UNICEF applied and received funding for the Sustainable Energy for Health Facilities worth US$3million in April 2018, from Sweden. The first phase worth US$1million will be disbursed by December 2018 to support the mainstreaming of Climate, Environment and Energy in UNICEF programmes.
Policy and advocacy
- The Climate Change Policy developed by MoEWC (with support from UNICEF) was launched by President Mnangagwa in June 2018 together with its Child Friendly version, developed by UNICEF.
- UNICEF chairs the NDC sub-committee on Information, Awareness raising and Capacity building which supports Zimbabwe’s efforts to fulfilling their part of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Children and climate change
The evidence is indisputable: climate change and environmental degradation undermine the rights of every child, especially the most disadvantaged. UNICEF is committed to increase its contribution to environmental sustainability, given both the importance of the issue to children and the global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UNICEF Strategic Framework on Environmental Sustainability for Children aims to significantly strengthen UNICEF’s policy, programmes, advocacy, research and engagement on environmental sustainability to deliver better results for children, especially the most disadvantaged.