The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) launched the first two projects to be funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Namibia. The launch was held on 30 August 2017 at the Windhoek Country Club. Representatives included Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Shifeta Pohamba, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. John Mutorwa, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Zaheer Faki, an African Board Member of the GCF, Governors, Permanent Secretaries, as well as members of the diplomatic corps, civil society, private sector, and the media.
The projects will each receive US$ 10 million in grant funding over 5 years, and both will be implemented in the northern regions of Namibia. The recipients of the funds are the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). The two projects are
- Empower to adapt: creating climate-change resilient livelihoods through community based natural resource management in Namibia (MET), and
- Climate resilient agriculture in three of the vulnerable extreme northern crop-growing regions (CRAVE) (MAWF).
Dr Jane Olwoch, Executive Director, attended the proceedings as the MAWF is the Namibian line Ministry responsible for SASSCAL.
In his opening address, Zaheer Faki said that Namibia should continue to demonstrate leadership as it is GCF’s mission for countries to own the initiative. The Hon. John Mutorwa was appreciative of the funding and said that the resources will be put to good use in areas that are in dire need of mitigation activities. He said that the projects were coming at the right time when the country was facing risks associated with climate change such as droughts, floods and fires. Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah thanked the EIF for making Namibia proud. She said that the projects will play a critical role in enabling Namibia to become self-sufficient in food production.
The Hon. Shifeta Pohamba said that Namibia is counted as one of the world leaders in environmental management and governance. He stated that the country has dedicated strategies and action plans to tackle the challenges of climate change in the agriculture, fisheries and water sectors, and that these are reflected in the 5th National Development Plan as well as in the Harambee Prosperity Plan. The Hon. Minister thanked the EIF for becoming an accredited entity to the GCF and stated that the projects will help empower people in rural areas by reducing levels of poverty.
The launch was closed by the EIF Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Libanda, who thanked the GCF for the approval of the project proposals and expressed his appreciation to all in attendance for their support.