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Definition of wetlands redirects landzoning schemes for energy efficiency.

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By Melody Mzapi

Town planners in Zimbabwe’s physical planning department acknowledged that changes in weather patterns influence the shape of land-use zones. This was revealed at a training organized by the Climate Change Department of Zimbabwe.

The training program on promoting waste circular economy innovations was conducted to encourage architects and town planners to explore the feasibility of creating climate-resilient structures in varying weather and climatic conditions.

According to town planner Priscilla Charumbira, landscapes are prone to change calling for effective environmental assessment before allocation to estate entrepreneurs.

“It is difficult to define wetlands but need to define our land uses should be upheld,” said Charumbira.

In a comment during the training, the meteorological department and weather analysis researcher, Alois Tsiga, said most development is occurring in the path of natural disasters. Zimbabwe in years was affected by cyclones in Chimanimani.

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Cities and Industry

Indigenous people protest Brazil’s oil and fossil industry

REPSOL is one of Spain’s largest and iconic to the fossil fuel industry which the protestors felt was wreaking havoc worldwide

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Indigenous representatives from five different peoples and activists from 350.org held a protest on Sunday in front of the headquarters of REPSOL in Madrid, Spain. The protest was meant to draw attention to an oil leak that has been polluting the beaches and contaminating sea life across 11 states in Brazil since October

REPSOL is a global company operating in all areas of the oil and gas industry. The business is one of Spain’s largest and iconic to the fossil fuel industry which the protestors felt was wreaking havoc worldwide. In a statement, the protestors stated that whether through oil spill disasters or through the end-use of the fossil fuels, companies like REPSOL were the main culprits of the climate crisis.

They stated that operations from large companies threaten ecosystems, livelihoods and the health of indigenous communities worldwide. The government of Brazil has reportedly been insisting on expanding the oil frontier.

The protestors emphasised their cultural links to the environment. One of the protest leaders, Andreia Takua,  President of the National Council of Indigenous Health said, “We indigenous people feel that fossil fuels expansion needs to be stopped. Fossil fuels pollute the soil, the water, the air. They turn nature into a commodity. For us indigenous people, our environment is sacred, it cannot be sold. So, when a part of our land or our ocean is auctioned off to the highest bidder, it feels as if a part of us was removed. It feels as if we had lost part of our spirit. We need our oceans clean and our forests intact. We want fossil fuel companies to stop drilling off the coasts of Brazil and we want the Brazilian government to immediately stop auctioning off new oil fields for exploration” 

The protest also highlighted challenges faced by water sources in Latin America. Ninawa Huni Kui  President of the Huni Kui Peoples Federation and member of the Council of the Indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Amazon remarked, “Oil drilling contaminates groundwater. In the state of Acre, like in many other regions where people live on the river banks or close to them, the contamination of fish ends up making people sick. Water becomes undrinkable, not only for people, but for animals as well. But even if you didn’t eat fish or drink water, in the Amazon, because of the humidity, the air itself brings down the contaminated water through the rain. Over the past three months only, 12 children died of water contamination. The same way they pollute the environment, fossil fuels are also a source of corruption for communities everywhere they are found. When oil companies start drilling, the first thing that happens is that members of the community are co-opted. Fossil fuel companies try to get the support of our communities, saying they will create jobs for young people, with support from the state administration. This creates conflict in the community. It’s what fossil fuels do, they disarticulate communities”.

 CoP25 has seen protests from indigenous groups, environmental activists such as Extinction rebellion as well as youths under the Fridays For Future banner.

Nicole Oliveira the Managing Director of 350.org Latin America added, “Indigenous leaders and young activists from Latin America are present in Madrid to remind governments of the world that our fight for climate justice is stronger and more urgent than ever. As the momentum for a transition to socially fair energies keeps growing, it becomes harder and harder for politicians and fossil fuel companies to ignore the pressure. COP25 needs to be another important milestone on this journey.”

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