The World Wide Fund for Nature (Zambia) and the British High Commission in Lusaka have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on climate and environmental issues in Zambia and its diaspora.

Ms Nachilala Nkombo, Country Director for WWF Zambia, and Ambassador Nicholas Woolley, British High Commissioner in Zambia, inked the agreement this week.

The cooperation emphasizes commitment to promoting climate and environmental action in the country ahead of the International Climate Change Summit (COP26) set for November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Activities will focus on amplifying Zambian voices on climate change both at home and abroad, as well as strategic technical support in areas of mutual interest, such as nature-based solutions, climate-smart agriculture, climate finance, and biodiversity conservation.

As part of the British High Commission’s engagement in Zambia, this new partnership will build on the Climate Connection campaign launched by the British Council on June 3 to strengthen UK-Zambia collaborations and use its cultural and educational resources to improve awareness, share ideas, and empower young people to act on climate change. It also follows the successful launch of WWF’s Voices for Climate Action Programme in the Kafue Flats on May 19.

Ambassador Woolley said COP26 was an opportunity for Zambian voices on climate change to be heard on the national and international stages and to translate this into action on the ground.

“The UK government and WWF both support key priorities of prominence in Zambia around the promotion of climate-smart agriculture and a diversified renewable energy mix.

“Both our organizations believe strongly in the importance of ecosystem protection and restoration of Zambia’s rich natural heritage for the enjoyment and sustainable use of future generations,” he said.

WWF’s Ms Nkombo said: “Climate change is taking a toll on Zambia and there has never been a greater urgency for us all to work together in new ways to respond to the climate crisis timely. As such, this strategic partnership is one way of supporting increase public awareness and engagement by all sectors of the country on much-needed efforts towards building a green and resilient economy that will secure the future of Zambia’s growing population.

“There is a great need for all actors in the economy to drive a just transition to climate-resilient, low carbon, sustainable, and resilient economy for the betterment of our nation and the planet at large.”

She said the consequences of climate change could be seen in food insecurity, the unpredictability of water availability, rising temperatures, increased loss of forest cover, negative land cover changes and loss of biological diversity.