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US$20m climate adaptation projects launched

Fri, 1 September 2017 18:17
by ?á Rodney Pienaar

The Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET) Pohamba Shifeta has launched two climate adaptation action projects worth U$$20 million that will be implemented in Namibia over a period of five years.

The projects that are financed through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will be administered by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia as a GCF accreditation entity and executed by MET. Speaking at the launch, Shifeta said that a constitutional provision has led to some innovative and enabling policies and laws aimed at tackling environmental challenges.

“Challenges we are facing for the benefit of our broader population have proved that we can overcome anything and it is noteworthy to highlight that Namibia is today counted as one of the world leaders in environmental management and governance. It should be noted that Namibia ratified each of the three major United Nations Environmental Conventions on Biological Diversity, Desertification and Climate Change soon after independence,” Shifeta said. He added that the Harambee Prosperity Plan also emphasises the need for increased contribution of renewables to the country’s energy mix and the development of sufficient water reserves to meet Namibia’s developmental needs.

Climate change is recognised as one of the greatest global challenges and Namibia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects and impact of climate change. Climate change has the potential to undermine the country’s economic development particularly the natural resource based sectors of the economy such as the agriculture and fishing industry.

One of the projects - Climate Resilient Agriculture in 3 Vulnerable Extreme northern crop-growing (CRAVE) scheduled for implementation in the Zambezi, Kavango – East and Kavango West regions will reduce climate vulnerability. It will also increase the adaptive capacity and resilience of vulnerable small scale farming communities in the sensitive, extreme northern crop production landscape that is threatened by climate variables and change.

The GCF approved a total amount of US$9.5 million grant to implement this project. Also, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry will provide in kind, a contribution amounting to US$500,000 during the implementation period.

Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community Based Natural Resources in Namibia (CBNRN), the project is another five-year  initiative targeted at empowering rural CBNRM communities to respond to climate change regarding awareness, adaptive capacity and low-carbon rural development. The envisaged project primarily establishes “a pot of grant funding” exclusively earmarked for investment CBNRN programs through communal area conservancies and community forests.

The project is expected to increase    resilience towards climate change of at least 76,000 beneficiaries and improve management on communal conservancy lands of 7,2 million hectares. The total investment from the GCF for this project is US$10 million.