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NAM NEEDS N$85,8 BILLION FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION

 

By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

For the next nine years, Namibia will need to invest on average N$9,5 billion annually on climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

In total, the country will require to invest at least N$85,8 billion due to climate change impact in the country, as determined by the updated Nationally Determined Contributions.

The country Environmental Investment Fund, chief executive officer Benedict Libanda revealed last week at the Community Based Natural Resource Management projects handover in Windhoek.

He also warned that “considering the global state of climate financing landscape and the impacts of Covid-19 on our economy, we will need to be innovative to achieve such target”.

He said Namibia is already experiencing the impacts of climate change as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world.

“The Namibian temperature projections are thus worse than the average projections for the globe,” he said.

A publication by the International Institute for Environment and Development suggests that over 20 years, annual losses to the Namibian economy could be up to 6% of GDP.

This is through various sectors such as agriculture, which lost around 90,000 livestock between October 2018 and June 2019.

The recent multi-year drought exposed many of the country’s environmental sectoral vulnerabilities, with the government spending more than N$131 million on drought relief in 2019 alone.

While the country’s economic hub, the City of Windhoek, declared a water crisis in 2019, with high tariffs and rationing, which affected production.

Most of the events are directly climate-change-induced, and others are indirect. As a result, they require adaptation and mitigation mechanisms to be funded and require (N$N$9,5 billion) more than what the country dedicates to its development budget annually.

Libanda updated that over the past five years, the EIF successfully mobilised more than N$1,6 billion, of which N$800 million is through grants and N$750 million through line credit lines.

He also said every dollar invested through the budget provision of the Namibian government attracted N$14 while assuring that the Fund will continue to engage multilateral climate and environmental funds and other development finance institutions to mobilise more funding to enhance their portfolio nationally.

Libanda also revealed that the EIF had attained re-accreditation to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for another five-year mandate. They have started their accreditation process with the Adaptation Fund.

“We target to mobilise about N$1,5 billion from those two entities only,” he stated.

IT IS POSSIBLE

Libanda is, however, hopeful “we are capable as a nation to build resilience and capacities at all levels to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Last Thursday, the Fund and its stakeholders handed over the 16 projects valued at N$66 million. It was awarded to the communities located in Otjozondjupa, Omusati, Oshikoto, Kunene, Kavango East, Kavango West, Zambezi, Erongo, and //Karas regions.

The 16 completed community projects were funded by the Green Climate Fund and implemented through the EIF’s project titled empower to adapt: Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods.

This was done through Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Project under the  Enhance Direct Access (EDA) modality.

These self-determined community climate change interventions aim to improve livelihoods through the provision of water rehabilitated infrastructures, fire management, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and poultry farming.

Moreover, livestock breeding scheme, bush to feed, hydroponics for horticulture and fodder production systems, and a flood-relief centre with supporting facilities such as a boat and an early warning system.

According to the EIF assessment, the impacts of the projects have not only made the communities resilient despite climate change shocks and stresses, but they have also contributed towards the maintenance and improvement of ecosystem services and functions.

Libanda said their assessment revealed that the 16 community projects would save 7,3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from avoided emissions through renewable energy sources.

The combined conservation areas supported totals 5,5 million hectares and sequestration of 83,8 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Through the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia’s (CBNRM EDA) Project Grant Facility, the Green Climate Fund financed 31 grants projects to gazetted community forests and communal conservancies in 12 of the 14 political regions of Namibia.

According to EIF, The funded projects have to date contributed towards empowering rural CBNRM communities in Namibia by increasing their resilience to adverse impacts of climate change.

Such as protracted droughts, increased flood events, reduced crop production, and livestock losses.

Additionally, the projects’ interventions directly contribute to the realisation of Namibia’s obligations to national and international climate change goals, objectives, and frameworks.

Beyond reduced carbon emission, the community projects have benefited 50 000 beneficiaries, according to the figures released by EIF.

Provided more than 3000 green jobs, and an area of more than 5,5 million hectares of ecosystems have been strengthened, restored, and are protected from climate variability and change.

Through the rehabilitation of 85 boreholes and four-four earth dams, a total of more than 240,000 livestock (both cattle and small stock) and wildlife now have access to reliable and safe water supply despite climate shocks and stresses.

The stakeholders involved assessment highlighted that the projects testify that local level climate change adaptation is feasible and doable.

The projects were funded under the Enhance Direct Access (EDA) modality.

EDA is structured in such a way that funding will be exclusively and directly channelled to the vulnerable gazetted Communal Conservancies and Community Forests, where their project’s impact is being realised.”

Namibia’s CBNRM Project is one of the first global projects approved by GCF under the EDA modality. Email: erastus@thevillager.com.na

Julia Heita

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