Fashionable Strategy for Low Carbon Development

June 19, 2024

Models donning outfits made from waste material creating awareness about the Long-Term Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) at the Bushfire Festival.


As the models sashayed across the stage, they effortlessly captivated the audience, holding them in thrall. Their mesmerising performance at the MTN Bushfire festival wasn't solely about their graceful movements; it was also the stunning outfits that compelled many to beckon them back onstage. The models were showcasing garments crafted from plastic bags, sacks, and other recycled materials at the annual international festival that draws thousands of people worldwide. 

The creative talents behind these visionary designs, who value the artistry in recycling waste, are young individuals hailing from rural areas and associated with SEED SOIL Harvest Ministry, an NGO rooted in northern Hhohho, dedicated to empowering youth towards purposeful living. The models didn't just showcase stunning outfits that undoubtedly captivated the audience, but they also held placards, raising awareness about Eswatini’s transition to low-carbon development in the next 25 years. The fashion show was a fusion of artistry, entertainment and climate change education.

“The outfits helped us get the audience’s attention which helped us raise awareness about environmental issues,” said Futhi Mavuso, SEED Soil Harvest Ministry director.

Festivalgoers got to know more about the Long-Term Low Carbon Development (LT-LEDS) for Eswatini Climate Vision 2050.


Long-term Low Emission Development Strategy 

SEED SOIL Harvest Ministry actively engaged within the Bring Your Fire Zone, a collaborative effort between MTN Bushfire and the United Nations in Eswatini. The Bring Your Fire Zone serves as a dynamic space within the festival, utilising its creative platforms to address various social issues, including environmental sustainability and combating discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, and religion. Through meticulously curated artistic programmes, the festival promotes dialogue and action on these critical issues. Through the MTN Bushfire and UN collaboration, UNDP partnered with the Eswatini Environment Authority (EEA), which, in turn, engaged SEED Soil Harvest Ministry, to raise awareness about Eswatini's strategy in transitioning towards low-carbon development. 

The audience appreciating the information on LT-LEDS at the MTN Bushfire's Bring Your Fire Zone.


UNDP, through the Climate Promise, in collaboration with the NDC Partnership, is working with 120 countries and territories to reduce carbon emissions and provides technical and coordination support to governments in crafting a Long-Term, Low Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS), a comprehensive plan designed to guide countries towards carbon neutrality by 2050. The LT-LEDS helps countries align their development strategies with the goals of the Paris Agreement, specifically aiming to limit global warming to below 2 Degrees Celsius. Eswatini, supported by UNDP, is currently in the preliminary stage of formulating its LT-LEDS, which is anticipated to be finalised and adopted by 2025. The LT-LEDS is breathing life into the country’s climate action policy document, known as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Eswatini submitted its revised NDCs to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 21 October 2021. 

“We’re working with UNDP’s Climate Promise which is geared towards creating an enabling environment for NDCs and LT-LEDS,” said Duduzile Nhlengethwa-Masina, Director of Meteorological Services. “The NDCs are a short-term plan of five years and the LT-LEDS is a long-term vision that will take us to 2050.” 

A panel discussion on the role of education in climate action held under the MTN Bushfire UN live dialogues.


Stakeholders leading the LT-LEDS

To pave the way for Eswatini LT-LEDS and foster inclusivity, a comprehensive stakeholder engagement initiative was undertaken. Within the MTN Bushfire and UN partnership, UNDP and EEA leveraged the live dialogues leading up to the festival to involve a wide array of stakeholders. One of the dialogues focused on the Role of Education in Climate Action, which UNDP facilitated with its sister agency, UNICEF. This inclusive approach ensured the participation of policymakers, UN agencies, educators, youth, activists, and artists in discussions regarding the LT-LEDS.

In addition, through a partnership with the Centre for Financial Inclusion (CFI), UNDP supported the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs in conducting more stakeholder engagements with stakeholders in different sectors including the sugar industry, development, government, mining, and civil society.