WINDHOEK- With the devastating impacts of climate change evident, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved approximately N$124.6 million (US$ 8.9 million) grant for the implementation of a climate change adaptation project in Namibia.
This decision was reached during a recent meeting of the GCF Board, which has recommitted itself to replenishing the largest climate-financing fund in the world.
Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta on Monday said the board meeting culminated in good news for Namibia with the approval of a US$ 8.9 million grant for the implementation of a climate change adaptation project.
To access these grant worth millions, the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) ensure the approaches are in place to financial resource mobilisation for climate and environmental efforts.
With the approval of this project, the EIF has now successfully accessed international financing covering N$ 1.3 billion of which more than N$ 560 million is in the form of project grants from the GCF.
Shifeta said the development of climate change proposals for the country is a cumbersome and intense process of collating scientific information and applying a climate rationale that satisfies GCF’s investment criteria.
The project is titled, “Building resilience of communities living in landscapes threatened under climate change through an ecosystems-based adaptation approach”, and will be implemented over a five-year period.
The 2018 Assessment Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has confirmed the gradual warming of the earth over the last 3 decades with projections of 2 degrees increase in temperature potentially giving way to serious implications for Southern African countries. This IPPC report even singled Namibia and Botswana, which will face severe water stress, because of this impact.
Hence, Shifeta said one only needs to observe the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events around Namibia and the southern region to conclude climate change has long become a measurable reality.
“Some parts of Namibia are gripped by severe drought, while others are having more rain than they have ever received, leading to flash floods,” he noted.
According to him, these impacts cause great damage to biodiversity, threaten food and water security and damage ecosystems on which Namibian citizens, especially in rural areas, depend for their livelihoods.
Further, Shifeta said this approved project is based on the premise that community livelihoods are based on the services provided by healthy ecosystems including economic value through agro-productive use (grazing for livestock and health soils for agriculture).
The project will further use large scale Ecosystem-based Adaptation as cost effective and low risk approach to build climate resilience within eight large landscapes targeted for implementation.
This landscape is in the central northern, lower eastern, Kavango West and east, southern landscape, Zambezi east landscape and Kunene north and south as well as Daures, Zambezi west and Kyaramacan.
These landscapes encompass most of Namibia’s conservancies and community forests and are home to majority of natural resources-reliant communities covering one fifth of Namibia´s land surface, and accommodating more than 200 000 people.
He explained the project seeks to roll out ecosystem-based approaches at large landscape scale with key focus on restoration of sensitive ecosystems such as wetlands, river basins and catchment areas, veld fire management, restorations, creating compatible land uses at landscape level and facilitate value chains of natural resources.
He thanked the leadership of the Board of Directors of Environmental Investment Fund, and its Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Libanda, for continuously looking for opportunities to bring in these much-needed financial resources to enable the country to respond to climate-induced challenges.
He therefore implored on the implementers of this project to act in a bold, transparent and efficient manner and with great urgency in order achieve the objectives of the project.
“It is only through this swift action that we as a country can reinforce the multilateralism that brought forth the approval of this climate finance grant and offer hope to those most vulnerable,” he encouraged.
2019-03-07 09:21:17 5 months ago