Be-Resilient Zimbabwe

Project name :

Comprehensive Resilience Building in the Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts

Project duration :


Location :

As part of Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP), funded by the World Bank and managed by UNOPS, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) is implementing the project ‘Comprehensive Resilience Building in the Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts’. The project has clear synergies with the regional programme ‘Be-Resilient’, which aims to strengthen climate change resilience building and proactive Disaster Risk Reduction in established and proposed UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. This project seeks to reduce the vulnerability of communities in the Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts to natural disasters, such as floods, droughts and landslides; and to enhance water resource management as well as ecosystem services in response to the uncertainty of future climate change.

2.1 An operational community-based flood monitoring and early warning system

Building on the risk assessment in work package 1, a multi-hazard early warning system (MEWS) will be developed that includes:

  • Community-focused Early Action Protocols using Flood and Drought Early Warning Information:

UNESCO ROSA, in partnership with Princeton University, launched the Zimbabwe Flood and Drought in 2019. Therefore, a work package is created to provide operational high-resolution Flood and Drought Information for Chipinge and Chimanimani to support anticipatory actions of local civil society organizations in the two districts. Continuous monitoring for all hydro-meteorological variables, as well as flood forecasts for the next 5 days and seasonal forecasts for drought conditions will be provided through an online data portal managed by the Princeton Climate Institute. In close collaboration with the Zimbabwean Red Cross and its partners, Early Action Protocols (EAPs)  will be co-developed with civil society organizations to ensure that these early warnings result in early action at the community level. The project will ensure a broad stakeholder engagement and will include NGOs dealing with emergency response and resilience building. As a result, capacities of the community and its civil society associations will be strongly enhanced to access the early warning information and to act upon them through agreed pathways and protocols.

  • Early warning communication and dissemination:

This work package will build on the action plan on flood and drought early warning communication and dissemination, which was developed post-Idai. Based on these recommendations, community radios will be established in pilot areas to strengthen the existing communication channels in the two districts and to become more reliable as a source for proactive flood and drought early warning communication and dissemination. Community radios and other communication channels in the two districts will be provided capacity building to access and interpret the information made accessible through the Flood and Drought Monitoring and Early Warning System for the communities in Chimanimani and Chipinge. This will support the dissemination of early warnings to allow the operationalization of the developed Early Action Protocols, and will also prepare the way for a more bottom-up engagement in disaster risk reduction, and opening up pathways for a community-based early warning system at a later stage.

2.2 Formulate Robust and Flexible Adaptation Actions

The CRIDA process allows to identify ‘adaptation pathways’ that evaluate all potential options with respect to the results of the climate stress test developed in work package 1, while including uncertainty explicitly in the process. This allows to identify those pathways, as a combination of viable adaptation actions, that allow providing adequate solutions to ensure that ecosystem services, water, food and energy security is met at all times. Adaptation options that include green-gray and Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) will be particularly targeted and evaluated used the Eco-Engineering Decision Scaling (EEDS) approach. 

2.3 Develop and establish the Chimanimani (Transboundary) Biosphere Reserve through a stakeholder engagement process 

A biosphere reserve (BR) is an area that has been recognised for its unique mix of plants and animals, valued environment and sustainable way of life of the people who live and work within the biosphere reserve. Biosphere Reserves are ‘Science for Sustainability support sites’ – for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including climate change, conflict prevention and management of biodiversity. Via its management committee and adequate interaction with local stakeholders, a well-established biosphere reserve has the potential to become a sustainable environment for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Therefore, the development and establishment of the Chimanimani (Transboundary) Biosphere Reserve through a stakeholder engagement process will secure long-term ownership and sustainability of the climate change adaptation work packages proposed above and to ensure long-term benefits of the infrastructure investments under the ZIRP. 

Contact Person

Koen Verbist
Programme Specialist