WINDHOEK, 19 APR – The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has mobilised around N$ 1.1 billion through the Environment Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia to strengthen the country’s climate change resilience during the 2017/18 financial year, Minister Pohamba Shifeta said on Wednesday.
Delivering MET’s budget statement for the 2018/19 financial year in the National Assembly, Shifeta stressed that Namibia is prone to climate change.
“Now more than ever, we need to build our resilience to climate change so that we ensure our water, energy and food security,” said the minister.
He said climate change, as was being witnessed currently with floods and perennial droughts, impacts the fabric of the Namibian society and its economy.
MET has since devised two projects: climate resilient agriculture; and community-based natural resources management.
To this effect, an allocation of N$ 166 million has been made through the EIF for each project.
The projects will benefit around 76 500 communal area residents and 21 000 small scale farmers, Shifeta said.
In addition, there is the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Financing Programme. It is a collaboration between the EIF and the French Agency for Development which facilitates entrepreneurs, and small and medium enterprises to access green investments.
Green investments include investments in renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, sustainable tourism and agriculture through environmental credit lines worth approximately N$ 655 million.
“These are important green economy sectors with potential for employment creation and value addition to our natural resources,” said Shifeta.
A further N$ 72 million is earmarked for the development of pilot rural desalination plants using renewable power and membrane technology in Grünau and Bethanie in the //Kharas Region.
A further N$ 156 million is set aside for the Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihood and Environmental Facility.
“These projects will seek to support poverty eradication efforts through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in target landscapes,” said Shifeta.
The minister acknowledged that the EIF was doing exceptionally well to mobilise resources for the most vulnerable sectors to environmental degradation caused by climate change.
“These resources are not sustainable to the EIF as it merely receives administration fees from these projects,” said Shifeta.
This year, the EIF is anticipated to generate N$ 300 million in grant funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to fortify climate adaptation in the renewable energy and agriculture sectors.
The GCF is a fund established within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.