Accessing Green Climate funding proves difficult

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Windhoek

Despite the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) accessing grant funding amounting to N$300 million through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Namibia among other developing nations finds it difficult to speedily access these funds.

Recently Namibia has through the EIF successfully capitalised on its accreditation as a National Implementing Entity by accessing close to N$300 million in grant funding from the GCF towards sustainable development projects in the country.

This follows the 14th meeting of the GCF that took place in South Korea in October where two of Namibia’s project proposals in conservation agriculture and community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) were approved.

With all these ambitious projects it remains unclear however when Namibia will fully access such funding to make them a reality.

Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta complained that developing countries played an instrumental role in the establishment of the GCF to provide speedy financial resources to developing countries.

“Experience today has not been encouraging because of cumbersome procedures and lack of information. This fund should increase its visibility through extensive outreach initiatives,” Shifeta said, while emphasizing GCF should have a strong presence in various regions of the United Nations by establishing regional offices.

This, he says, could help many countries to speedily access funding, and therefore urged the board of the GCF to endorse this idea as soon as possible.

He says developing countries are heavily paying for the impacts of a problem they did not cause, adding that their efforts to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change are inhibited by a lack of means of implementation, particularly financial resources.

“Climate change is an issue of intergenerational justice. Those of us who contributed the least are now the ones suffering most without adequate means to address the negative impact of climate change. We incurred losses and damages due to climate change and thus need to be compensated. We cannot incur debts to address a problem we did not cause.”

Shifeta, who attended the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which ended on Friday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, said developing countries are extremely concerned about the gap in the emission reduction targets of developed nations.

“Adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change is a costly undertaking, which places a heavy burden on the national budget. The loss and damages to our infrastructure due to floods, sea level rise as well as the loss of livestock, and crop failures, increase this resources burden even more,” he noted.

According to him, this situation calls for the urgent full capitalisation of GCF.
However, Shifeta is concerned about the slow process of capitalisation of the GCF which limits developing countries to access adequate finance for adaptation, which is a key priority for such emerging economies.

He says even though Namibia prioritises adaptation, it’s equally involved in mitigation actions, adding that Namibia has put in place plans for large-scale investments in renewable energy.

He appealed to developed countries to provide finance for these investments through various financial mechanisms in order to operationalise them as soon as possible.

He looks forward with great anticipation to the mobilisation of the promised US$100 billion for climate change.
In the broad context of long-term financial support, industrialised countries committed to provide funds rising to US$100 billion per year by 2020 to support concrete mitigation actions by developing countries that are implemented in a transparent way. These funds would be raised from a mix of public and private sources.

Last month Shifeta announced that out of the N$300 million, N$150 million will be used for conservation agriculture projects in Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West as part of food security and self-reliance.

Shifeta said the aim of the project is to reduce food insecurity and vulnerability to climate risks and threats while increasing the adaptive capacity, well-being and resilience of vulnerable small-scale farming communities threatened by climate variability and change. The project will directly and indirectly benefit 16 000 farmers and be executed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

The other N$150 million project will be used as a grants making facility to support CBNRM in Namibia.
The overall goal of the project is to ensure that local communities within CBNRM areas have reduced vulnerability and increased resilience to the anticipated negative impacts of climate change.

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