Namibia has through the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) successfully capitalised on its accreditation by accessing close to N$300 million in grant funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) towards sustainable development projects in Namibia.
This follows the 14th meeting of the GCF that took place in South Korea from October 12 to 14, where two of Namibia’s project proposals in conservation agriculture and community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) were approved.
Announcing the grant yesterday was Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta, who said out of the N$300 million, half will be used for conservation agriculture projects in the Zambezi, Kavango East and West regions.
Its aim, he says, is to reduce food insecurity and vulnerability to climate risk and threats, while increasing the adaptive capacity, well-being and resilience of vulnerable small-scale farming communities who are threatened by climate variability and change.
Shifeta said the project will directly and indirectly benefit some 16 000 farmers and will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, as from next year February.
The crop production projects include production of maize, sorghum and mahangu, while some will also include horticulture components.
Shifeta said the other N$150 million would be used as a grant-making facility to support CBNRM in Namibia. The overall goal of the project, he says, is to ensure that local communities within CBNRM areas have reduced vulnerability and increased resilience to the anticipated negative impacts of climate change.
“This project will seek to ensure that assets, livelihoods and ecosystem services are protected from climate-induced risks associated with expected droughts, seasonal shifts and other climate disaster events,” he noted. It is envisaged that in excess of 62 000 people will benefit from the GCF funding.
Both projects are expected to last for five years, starting in February 2017 through to 2021.
Out of 85 project proposals submitted for funding by various countries, only ten were approved and two of these proposals came from Namibia. Shifeta said the fact that only three nationally accredited entities from Africa have so far successfully accessed funding from the GCF shows what a difficult process it is.
He highlighted the importance of the privileged immunity agreement between the Namibian government and the GCF, which was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
This agreement paved the way for Namibia to engage the GCF and accelerate access to grant resources.
He also hinted that the EIF is looking to mobilise additional resources to the tune of N$450 million for three projects expected to be tabled to the GCF during its next two board meetings.
He said the Fund is striving to become self-sustainable with the capacity to access more than N$1 billion in grants and development funding for climate-related actions annually. However, he said, the N$15 million annual budget allocation to the EIF from Treasury is not sustainable over the short and long term.
“Also in the next few weeks, we will again be announcing a multi-million Namibian Dollar development funding pact that has been agreed by the EIF, which is bigger than the amount discussed today.
“I would like to congratulate the EIF, which has really demonstrated its capacity to punch above its weight in the global climate finance arena,” the minister said.