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Local Environmental Fund Re-accredited To Access GCF Capital

By: Nghiinomenwa-vali Erastus

The Environment Investment Fund of Namibia is again officially recognised as having the globally recognised standards, competence, and governance systems to access the financial resources of the Global Climate Fund.

Last week, a statement released by the Environment Investment Fund (EIF) indicated that the Fund has been re-accredited to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for a further 5-year period.

This follows after the initial 5-year accreditation that lapsed in June 2021.

The re-accreditation was preceded by a rigorous institutional review and assessment of the Fund by the GCF.

The re-accreditation assessment process considered the fiduciary standards, good governance, transparency, leadership, risk management, Environment and Social Governance (ESG) system, and financial management systems of the EIF of Namibia and all other applying institutions.

The GCF first accredited the Fund in 2016 as a direct access entity for country-level programme delivery.

To date, the Fund has, as a consequence, raised more than N$640 million for Climate Action Grants & Readiness Support from the GCF for Namibia.

As a result of the signing of the re-accreditation that was attained last year, the Fund has also since begun with project development for submission to the GCF.

The projects to be developed by the EIF align with the priorities identified under the 2021 updated National Determined Contribution.

The environment, forestry and tourism ministry, being the National Designated Authority to the GCF, provides guidance and support during the project preparation and has no objections to the proposals to the GCF.

The re-accreditation of the EIF of Namibia to the GCF is an important step in this process as the Fund aims to raise funding from GCF totalling N$1,5 billion by the year 2026.

This type of funding will be used to create new, much-needed industries that will support economic growth in areas such as rural development, renewable energy, water management and the environment.

Furthermore, the funding will support sound waste management systems, sustainable agriculture, recycling, green technology industries, ecosystem-based businesses, environmental research, training, bursaries, scholarships, and green value chains in the manufacturing sector.

Consequently, contribute to inclusive economic growth, poverty eradication, employment creation, and food and water security.

It is estimated that a shift towards a greener economy in Namibia can create 3,500 jobs within the next three years.

The GCF funding is mainly availed in the form of grants to finance climate change-related programmes.

These include, amongst others, those relating to renewable energy generation and access, food and water security, ecosystems services, forest, land use, increased resilience of rural livelihoods (e.g., aquaculture, conservation agriculture, rangeland management, climate-resilient infrastructure, value addition, etc.), and sustainable urban transportation.

However, the approval of the grant is still dependent on the submission of bankable and viable proposals according to the GCF criteria.

These are i) Impact (contribution to the GCF results in areas); (ii) Paradigm shift potential; (iii) Sustainable development potential; (iv) Needs of the recipient countries and populations; (v) Coherence with a country’s existing policies or climate strategies; and (vi) the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed intervention, include its ability to leverage additional funding.

The Fund has acknowledged that the accreditation will translate into the tangible benefits of new funding opportunities for various projects in line with Namibia’s developmental objectives.

The GCF climate change resources accessed by the Fund thus far have funded various national projects through 4 big projects.

The first one is the Climate Resilient Agriculture in three of the Vulnerable Extreme CRAVE) northern crop-growing regions.

The project aims to reduce climate vulnerability and increase the adaptive capacity and resilience of vulnerable small-scale farming communities in vulnerable extreme northern crop-producing regions that are threatened by climate variability and change.

The total GCF grant envelope amounts to US$9.5 million, while the Government of the Republic of Namibia contributed US$500 000 in co-financing.

The project is being executed by the agriculture, water and land reform ministry through an agreement with the Fund and is a 5-year investment covering the implementation period of 2016-2022.

The second project funded by GCM is the Empower to Adapt-Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community Based Natural Resources Management in Namibia (CBNRM-EDA).

The project strives to empower rural CBNRM communities to respond to climate change in terms of awareness, adaptive capacity and low-carbon rural development.

The total grant envelope amounts to US$10 million and is fully capitalised by the GCF.

The project is being executed by the environment, forestry and tourism ministry as the executing entity. This is also a 5-year project that runs from 2016-2022.

To date, the project has allocated N$ 126 million in climate change adaptation funding directly to 33 community-based projects, while its support covers a combination of 38 conservancies and community forests.

The project has also made it possible for 77,000 rural area residents to have secure access to potable drinking water.

The third project is Improving Rangeland and Ecosystem Management practices of smallholder farmers under climate change conditions in Sesfontein, Fransfontein, and Warmquelle Areas of the Republic of Namibia (IREMA).

This initiative is exclusively ring-fenced for the drought-stricken Kunene and also runs over five years – 2019 -2024.

The project aims to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers under climate change conditions by safeguarding natural capital that generates ecosystem services to sustain agricultural production systems.

GCF investment in IREMA amounts to US$9,3 million and is matched by the Namibian Government contribution to the tune of US$700 000.

This project is also executed by the MAWLR under an agreement with the Fund.

Key activities include developing an early warning system for disaster risk management, solar-retrofitting and rehabilitation of up to 20 boreholes, development of up to 300 backyard gardens and rehabilitation of Warmquelle and Khowarib Green Schemes.

Building Resilience of Communities Living in Eight Landscapes Threatened Under Climate Change

The fourth project is through an Ecosystems-Based Adaptation Approach.

This is the youngest of the GCF investments and seeks to increase climate change resilience of 8 productive communal area landscapes in 13 of Namibia’s political regions.

This will be done by implementing ecosystem-based adaptation actions that strengthen social and ecological systems to sustain livelihoods at the local level and facilitate value chains of natural resources.

The total GCF funding amounts to US$9.2 million, while the Namibian government contributes US$700 000.

The project is executed by the tourism ministry, also through an agreement with the Fund, and runs from 2019 – 2024.

The project intends to benefit more than 216 000 (direct 60 000 and indirect 156 000) beneficiaries, of which 50 per cent will be women, while the target is to reach 7.5 per cent of Namibia’s total population.

The GCF is the world’s largest dedicated climate fund.

GCF’s mandate is to foster a paradigm shift towards low emission, climate-resilient development pathways in developing countries.

GCF has a portfolio of US$10 billion (USD 37.2 billion, including co-financing), delivering transformative climate action in more than 100 countries. Email:

Nghiinomenwa-vali Erastus

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