EIF HOSTS ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION ON GENDER MAINSTREAMING AND CLIMATE FINANCE
Windhoek, 08 September 2022 – As part of the National Gender Workplan, Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) jointly with the Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism hosted a round table discussion on sharing lessons learned on gender mainstreaming and climate finance by different projects funded by different financiers in Namibia and how best climate finance influence gender mainstreaming into national policies and strategies. The Round table discussion on Gender Mainstreaming and Climate Finance took place on Thursday, 8th of September 2022 at Windhoek Country Club,
The United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through the COP26 encouraged national gender focal points to make greater efforts in integrating gender into nationally determined contributions and national climate change policies, plans, strategies and action as well as to provide support for a national gender and climate change focal point for climate negotiations, implementation and monitoring.
The round table discussion on Gender Mainstreaming and Climate Financing objectives was cantered around fostering greater understanding of gender mainstreaming, through a process of dialogue and exchange of experiences among different institutions on efforts to incorporate gender perspectives into different areas, climate finance and gender. Lesson learned from various stakeholders will be used to strengthen gender mainstreaming and gender climate finance in the National Determining Contribution and across the environment sector.
Doing the welcoming was Mr. Paulus Ashili, Chief Conservation Scientist at Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, speaking on behalf of the Environmental Commissioner stated that properly designed and executed climate financing mechanisms—those that leverage empowerment and gender equality—have the potential to enhance the climate response effort while simultaneously improving women’s lives. For example, funding projects that also reduce the walking distance to access energy sources, water and sanitation or promote reforestation and sustainable forest management will promote sustainable environmental practices and decrease the negative effects on women and girls of environmental change and deterioration. Similarly, funding that supports settlements for women-headed households that have lost their homes to disaster events will support adaptation and recovery efforts and will minimize stresses on the environment caused by refugee populations.
He further denoted that “We really need to start applying a gender lens to climate finance, as this is both the right thing to do and will lead to climate action that is better both for people and the planet”.
The workshop preceded with presentation from the Empower to Adapt (EDA) Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia with a focus on gender mainstreaming and action plan: CBNRM EDA Project by Mrs. Johanna Hainana the Grants Officer of the CBNRM EDA project. Mrs Hainana concluded her presentation with recommendations fusing on the need for more funding and training opportunities to attain gender mainstreaming and that there was a need to ensure that projects have focal gender persons or experts to ensure that gender mainstreaming is attained in climate financing.
Prof Lucy Edwards-Jauch is a consultant hired by Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism conducted a gender assessment and mainstreaming gender into the revising National Determined Contribution- NDC. Prof Edwards-Jauch underlined that there was a need to identify the gender-responsive and low-cost financial products (that are accessible to both men and women) to buy renewable technologies and that there is a need to promote climate-resilient water infrastructures to improve access to water and water security at household level (to facilitate food security through vegetable gardens, small nurseries as well as community-based aquaculture projects) and that there is a need to promote gender equality in water management institutions and decision-making levels amongst other tangible recommendations.
The third presentation of projects that the workshop could extract from in terms of lesson learned was another GCF funded project that is the Climate Resilient Agriculture in three of the Vulnerable Extreme northern crop-growing regions (CRAVE). Doing the presentation as Ms. Lynnety Sinalumbu, the Project Liaison Officer for Kavango East who highlighted that the CRAVE Project put measures in place that ensured that women remain involved by introducing other gender friendly production equipment such drip irrigation systems, ensuring training opportunities existed for women to participate in ripping services, creating job opportunities for women during preproduction and ensuring 6 women projects tractors were trained and graduated to become tractor operators’ among 29 males that graduated from the vocational training centres joined their male counterparts challenging the stereotypes and norms.
In the final presentation during the workshop was delivered by Ms. Aishalee N. Nakibuule, Program Manager: Namibia Development Trust, who narrated on the various experience from the Community Baes Natural Resources Management Sector and the various challenges that they face from women participation and the unwillingness to form part of the various opportunities that exist within the sector and recommended that there was a need to ensure that various projects in climate related interventions include a gender specialists to ensure that all interventions in various projects have gender aspect included in their interventions.
The workshop preceded with a round table which composed of Panellist such Ms. Louise Brown- Founding Director of Triple Capital, Ms. Magaret Angula-gender Expert and Senior Lecturer at the University of Namibia, Mr. Ngamane Karuaihe-Upi- Gender Expert and Activist and Ms. Josephine Toivo -Gender Expert at the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.
The panel in unison agreed that there was due to the absence of gender action plans majority of organisations do not have reporting or result frameworks that clarify when it comes to climate change. The panellist also denoted that there is a need to develop guidelines or interventions with clear steps for gender mainstreaming into policies in sectors beyond the climate finance related. The panel conclude with recommendations that there is a need to develop the capacities of various staff that are responsible for gender mainstreaming in the various projects.
Delivering the closing was Ms. Aina-Iteta Maria, the Executive for Business Strategy and Performance Management and UNFCCC Gender Focal Persons who thanked all stakeholders and partners that participated in the workshop and round table discussion. She further alluded that Namibia must ensure that it is ready for climate adaptation with regards to gender mainstreaming and climate financing and that more must be done that co-beneficiation between the women and men exist and that climate change effects must be addressed appropriately as they effect genders differently. She concluded by indicating that there is difference between attaining equity and achieving gender equity and hence once well understood Namibian can attain greater heights building on the gains made on the various projects implemented in the climate change sector.
The first session was directed through a series of presentations from different projects that will be sharing lessons learnt and challenges faced in the implementation of gender mainstreaming in their respective interventions. After presentations by various projects, the second session hosted a round table discussions with guest speakers having a round table dialogue on how climate finance will influence gender mainstreaming into policies and strategies.
Please find the link for the live streaming of the round table discussion on gender mainstreaming and climate finance for further usage. https://fb.watch/fpG9d0xkvO/
The Environmental Investment Fund is Namibia’s own response to the growing global need for green financing. Established in terms of the Environmental Investment Fund Act, Act 13 of 2001 with a mandate to raise funding for investments into projects and programmes that promote sustainable development it is currently one of the fastest growing green and climate financing institutions in Africa. As part of its vision to be “a recognized leader in the development and application of innovative financing mechanisms to support sustainable development and ensuring inclusive development for all the people of Namibia.
Amongst its recognizable impacts to date since inception, the Fund has disbursed grants valued at more than N$ 583 million, ensured that more than 240, 256 hectares of land are under conservation, 71 grants approved for different environmental projects, created more than 950 employment opportunities mostly rural based and include season ones and retrofitted 120 boreholes that benefitted more than 77 000 who now have access to portable drinking water and attracted N$ 820 million for concessional Green Credit Line with participating commercial bank from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) under the SUNREF project in Namibia. To-date attracted and mobilised more than N$1.7 billion mostly from multilateral and developmental funding institutions and partners. For more information visit: http://www.eif.org.na/