By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus
Kunene Region carrying capacity for livestock has dropped by more than 50%, and over the last three years, more than 100 000 cattle have been lost.
Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) has stepped in by investing N$130 million to enable climate-smart agriculture.
This is according to Benedict Libanda, the chief executive officer of the, as he explains the impact of climate change and the role of the fund.
Libanda sat with the country Investment Board at its pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
In a statement released by the board Tuesday, the EIF head highlighted the climate impact on developing economies like Namibia can be seen in the Kunene Region.
He said the region rangelands have become unsuitable for large livestock.
“This has had a far-reaching impact on the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the region, and due to the reduced household income, poverty levels have greatly increased,” he highlighted.
According to the EIF analysis, the region occupied mainly by small and medium-scale livestock farmers has lost 50% livestock carrying capacity.
In three years, the livestock-dependent habitats of the region have lost more than 100 000 of their animals.
Many communities depend on livestock for their livelihood. At the same time, the country earns income through the export of beef and other livestock meat.
Last year, the country slaughtered 91 762 cattle for both beef export and local consumption.
Additionally, it has exported 158 679 live animals in the same year.
However, statistics show that the total number of animals marketed in the country has been dwindling and struggling to pick up as farmers find it hard to restock.
Libanda explained that as part of the EIF’s efforts, it is to develop the capacity for the communities to cope with the impacts of climate change.
With the assistance of the Green Climate Fund and other development partners, the EIF has been able to invest more than N$130 million in the Kunene Region.
He said the investment allows for introducing new technologies that are cost-effective and appropriate for local communities, such as climate-smart agriculture measures.
To improve the resilience of the region’s production systems.
Libanda added that another intervention that can be rolled out is an early warning system that alerts farmers when the outlook for rain is poor, allowing them to destock.
Creating markets for their livestock before they are affected by droughts, coming up with new grazing plans, and fodder production units supported by technology such as hydroponics also form part of the process.
He highlighted that addressing issues at the primary production level has far-reaching positive impacts on secondary production and tertiary markets.
“It is extremely important to look at all value chains to appreciate the intervention that we are doing in terms of climate change,” he said.
However, the fund has noted that the challenge lies in identifying the risks associated with climate change and development to environmental biodiversity and finding solutions within business processes to mitigate these risks.
Libandda said the risks have far-reaching impacts on businesses as they cause disruptions in the value chain.
The exposure of businesses to disasters such as floods, droughts, and fire impacts 70% of all sectors of the world.
He explained that the productivity of value chains is impacted, insurance costs increase to cover losses, unemployment rises, and food and water security factors become an issue.
“These are the costs of climate change to development,” highlighted Libanda.
He indicated that the fund is assessing solutions and appropriate measures to take advantage of these challenges.
“We try to develop solutions and come up with measures that will safeguard our economy as well as environmental sustainability,” Libanda explains.
The EIF participated in the 2020 Expo Dubai through Libanda, who spoke at the Climate and Biodiversity Business Forum.
The recent report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has revealed the impacts on development and general economic growth caused by the risk of climate change.
Besides decoding the scientific language used in the report, the EIF indicated that it would turn challenges into intervention for Namibia.
To date, the EIF has raised N$1,7 billion for investment in climate change mitigation, adaptation measures, and biodiversity conservation. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org