As a task to expand its revenue optional pool to diversify its resources, the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) established a Resource Mobilisation Strategy as a framework for revenue generation through which it managed to mobilise about N$1.3 billion. This was confirmed in the Fund’s 2018/2019 annual report.
CEO of EIF Benedict Libanda said N$560 million of the N$1.3 billion came from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as grant funding, while the balance originated from multiple services rendered through management fees and other developmental partners. During the year under review, the Fund also reached an agreement with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on environmental levies sharing formula as well as access funding from the Green Climate Fund. According to Libanda, the two sources are detailed as follows: “Environmental levies or taxes: Cabinet, as recommended by the Cabinet Committee on Trade and Economic Development, endorsed the introduction of an environmental levy on plastic carrier bags, with 100% of the revenue from this levy accruing to the Fund for re-investment in improved waste management practices. Furthermore, the Cabinet approved the allocation of 30% of funds collected through environmental levies to the Fund.”
In February 2019, he said the GCF approved a grant of approximately N$124.6 million (US$8.9 million) for the implementation of a climate change adaptation project, titled “Building resilience of communities living in landscapes threatened under climate change through an ecosystem-based adaptation approach”.
Due to cash flow challenges, the Fund suspended its loan and grant programmes. However, there has been a continuation of bursary financing and the Summer Desertification Programme that continues to benefit 28 young professionals.
“Moreover, through the Sustainable Utilisation of Natural Resources and Energy Financing (SUNREF), the Fund has managed to approve two projects worth N$70 million, with 35 jobs created. Furthermore, through the Enhanced Direct Access Project funded by the Fund, a call for proposals was advertised in September 2018. A total of 62 grant applications were received for the three investment windows. It is envisaged that N$93 million worth of grant financing for CBNRM was to be approved by the end of April 2019. These funds will benefit more than 70 000 people and create 390 jobs,” explained Libanda. The identification and introduction of environmental levies were a prime focus of both the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Fund during 2018/19. Three (3) products were added to the current schedule of environmental levies (electrical/electronic appliances, lubricant oil, and car batteries) and regulations governing the collection and use of the levies were developed. The Department of Customs and Excise (MoF) will be introducing the taxes while disbursement will be made as per the established arrangements between the two institutions. The Fund received its first payment of environmental levies (N$7 million) in December 2018 from the Ministry of Finance. Another N$7 million payment was received by the end March 2019.
Meanwhile, EIF board chairperson Teofilus Nghitila said the GCF Board at its 22nd sitting in February 2019 approved the Fund’s fourth climate change adaptation project, worth the equivalent of US$9.1 million. According to him, the project seeks to invest in ecosystem-based adaptation initiatives in eight communal area landscapes and is anticipated to directly impact 200 000 people. He said the modalities for the collection and disbursement of the levies on plastic bags are currently a subject of discussion with the MoF.
“These transformative cabinet decisions and the concomitant disbursement represent the dawn of a new era concerning the requisite capitalisation of the Fund. The Fund is currently revising and updating its Investment Plan and building the necessary internal capacity with the ultimate aim of establishing and rolling out a framework for investing the proceeds of the environmental levies in eligible green enterprises such as recycling, local authority-level solid waste management, conservation agriculture and sustainable tourism,” detailed Nghitila. – email@example.com