Eswatini puts climate action plan into action

UNDP joins development partners in support of $1.3 Billion climate plan

May 3, 2023

Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Hon. Moses Vilakati, flanked by UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. George Wachira and Minister of Finance, Hon. Neal Rijkenberg.

UNEswatini/Deepshikha Shah

Eswatini today launched its implementation plan for the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to achieve the adaptation and mitigation strategies in the document submitted to the UNFCCC in October 2021.

The NDC, also known as the national climate action plan, is an instrument for implementing the Paris Agreement, to which Eswatini became a signatory in 2016.

It will cost Eswatini USD1.3 Billion to implement its NDC between now and 2030. It covers 12 areas; agriculture, health, water, ecosystems and biodiversity, infrastructure, energy, waste, industry, forestry, gender, youth and disaster risk reduction. 


The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Themba Masuku, who was represented by the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs (MTEA), Hon. Moses Vilakati, officiated at the event attended by ministers, development partners, UN agencies, public institutions and civil society organizations. Masuku acknowledged the translation of the NDCs to Braille and siSwatini as "of great importance as we continue to strive towards leaving no one behind". He said launching the implementation plan is a milestone urging development partners to support the NDC, which he described as "very ambitious" although Eswatini's emissions are minimal compared to the global contribution of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Cabinet ministers joined by development partners at the NDC launch

UNEswatini/Deepshikha Shah

Masuku further expressed his appreciation to the NDC Partnership and development partners, particularly UNDP, FAO, UNEP, IRENA, World Resources Institute, Commonwealth and COMESA, who supported Eswatini's NDC revision process.

He further appreciated that the NDC was a homegrown process that included all stakeholders, adding that both MTEA and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development spearheaded the NDC process.

"Needless to say, we need more development partners on board as we implement the NDC. We also need the private sector, academia and NGOs to support NDC implementation," he said.


He said the NDC implementation plan will be accessible online to all partners. He was optimistic that the development partners would go through it and find many contributions aligning with their priorities and country programmes.

Addressing the same event, the UN Eswatini Resident Coordinator, Mr George Wachira, congratulated the Government for the UNFCCC's acknowledgement of submitting an inclusive NDC that left no one behind. 

"We need a whole of society to move forward," said Wachira. 


He also expressed his gratitude to the UN Agencies that supported the NDC process under the NDC Partnership, including FAO, UNEP, IRENA and UNDP.   

Adding his voice was the Minister of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD), Hon. Dr Tambo Gina, who appreciated the Government's partnership with development agencies and sought more support to implement the NDC. The Principal Secretary at MEPD, Ms Thabsile Mlangeni, represented the minister. 

Hon. Moses Vilakati

UNEswatini/Deepshikha Shah

UNDP provided technical support to the NDC process and the development of the implementation plan and continues to mobilize more resources to breathe life into the plan. On that note, UNDP Resident Representative Ms Rose Ssebatindira announced an additional $469 000 (E8.6 million) from the UNDP Climate Promise Fund to support the preliminary work towards developing a Long Term Low Emissions Development Strategy for Eswatini. 

"In line with our country programme 2021-2025 and the enhanced NDC, we are pleased to be working with MTEA as the lead Ministry and other government ministries and development partners to mobilize up to USD 35Million (E645m) towards a pipeline of key national flagship programmes aimed at further strengthening the Kingdom's adaptation capacity and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions," said Ssebatindira. 


Also adding his voice was the NDC Partnership Global Director, Mr Pablo Vieira, who congratulated Eswatini for "raising the bar" in the NDC process by ensuring solid ownership across all sectors. He further applauded the country for developing a plan "with concrete actions that speak to a coordinated approach on the ground." 

The DPM further launched the Inclusive Budgeting and Financing for Climate Change (IBFCC) report developed through UNDP support in 2022, spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance. The IBFCC process will help the country monitor public budgets and strengthen links between national climate change policy and domestic public finances to promote climate resilience. 


“The climate dimension in tracking budgets and expenditures will be a very helpful development to ensure that climate-sensitive activity is recognized within the budget framework,” said the Minister of Finance, Hon. Neal Rijkenberg. 

He also called on development partners to support the country in resource mobilisation to breathe life into the two documents launched on the day.