The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) has paid out operational costs to communal conservancies three months in advance amidst COVID-19 which totals N$3 million.
Former EIF chairperson Theofilus Nghitila this morning said this advancement will cushion the effects of the pandemic for communities who depend on tourism, namely the conservancies.
EIF set aside N$6 million to assist conservancies for the short term.
The conservancies rely on the influx of trophy hunters and tourists into the country.
“Without tourists, you have no guests (and) most establishments are running at a zero in terms of the visitors and the conservancies have been negatively influenced as their campsites are empty,” Nghitila said.
This advancement is despite the fact that the fund’s resource mobilisation has decreased by 30% as a result of the pandemic.
Most of the fund’s income comes from the environmental taxes as well as funding from the green climate fund for its projects.
The EIF receives 30% of all environmental taxes on incandescent bulbs, tyres, and carbon emissions.
EIF Chief Executive Officer Benedict Libanda said the pandemic further disrupted the fund’s implementation timeline.
The projects are community-based and as a result of the movement restriction during the lockdown, the implementation was halted.
“We also receive disbursements from financiers such as the green climate fund (but) with the slow implementation of programmes the disbursements do not come in so easily (which) affects the financial flow,” Libanda said.
The fund grew from N$ 25 million to N$ 1.3 billion over 9 years.
The Environment ministry further initiated N$ 22 million through a conservation recovery and resilience facility to assist the facilities.
In addition to the advancement, the ministry is channelling funds through the facility to the conservancies directly.