Swaziland still lags behind in climate change legislations, policies.

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Approximately 500 people lost their lives during the drought that hit the country in 1983, while in 2007 almost half of the population needed food aid as they did not have sufficient food aid due crop failure.

A comprehensive scoping study of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) policies in the country compiled by Norman Mhazo and A.M Manyatsi from the University of Swaziland has attributed the above to the effects of climate change that the country has been prone to. Swaziland has experienced a number of hydrological disasters with drought being the most common.

The lack of a comprehensive climate change policy and legislation has been cited as the major setback to implementing  CSA in Swaziland. These included the lack of legislation to implement key food security related policies, lack of local infrastructure to support the manufacture and repairs of climate smart equipment, inadequate capacity within the ministry of agriculture, land tenure system that does not provide security over investment, traditions and culture that disadvantages females from acquiring land, and poverty.

Currently the country does not have a national climate change policy and no specific legislation on climate change. Existing failed action policies included the Forest Policy of 2010 which awaits the passage through parliament before it could be enacted into an Act of parliament and recommendation of  the national agriculture summit action plan of 2007 which are still outstanding. Other policies was the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) which stipulated that agriculture must be allocated about 10 per cent of national budgetary resources but that has not been the case. The Water Act of 2003 is still pending.

The scoping study on CSA policies in Swaziland revealed that climate change is considered to be one of the major threats to the sustainability of the world’s environment, society and the global economy.According to the report the high rate of poverty made the majority of the population vulnerable to climate change and compromises their adaptation capacity.

This has resulted in the country being highly dependent on South Africa, accounting for 90 per cent of Swaziland’s imports, 60 per cent of exports and supplies 50 per cent of electricity (Central Bank of Swaziland, 2013). The imports included maize and maize products, dairy products, vegetables and construction material. Further, the report states that a majority of scientists believe that precautionary and prompt action is necessary to reduce the build up of green house gases such as carbon dioxide, caused by human activities.

For a detailed report , visit the link http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=da69f36fc179db7b7b7719ec8&id=ce5128bb22&e=ced3869788

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