GCF approves US$ 9.5 million for climate adaptation in Kunene Region

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Albertina Nakale, New Era

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism as the National Designated Authority (NDA) to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has announced the approval of another US$ 9.5 million (N$109.4 million) grant to Namibia for climate adaptation.

The announcement of the approved funding was made at the 19th Meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund in Songdo, South Korea on March 1.

Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta said the total amount awarded to the project is US$9.3 million in grant funding with co-financing in kind from the Namibian government valued at US$700,000 (about N$8.2 million).

Thus far, he said, they been able to achieve a fraction of what they are capable of through special delivery vehicles such as the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) – which over a period of two years has managed to mobilise close to N$1 billion in climate financing from multilateral agencies and development partners, notwithstanding that the process of designing such projects is a costly exercise.

He indicated that it’s NDA’s strong belief and conviction that with an adequately capitalised EIF and hopefully with the addition of other accredited entities, Namibia stands to access close to N$3 billion in grants from the GCF annually until 2022 for climate adaptation projects across all sectors of the economy.

“This figure represents not only a meagre 4.6 percent of the total average annual government budget but more importantly presents a solution that may ease the burden on government’s planned social spending on the rural poor, the vulnerable and marginalised,” Shifeta said on Wednesday.

The latest project, focused on adaptation actions in the Kunene Region, was approved on March 1 and is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of smallholder farmers under climate change conditions by safeguarding natural capital that generates ecosystem services to sustain agricultural production systems.

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and is expected to benefit a total of 44,400 smallholder farmers and their families.

Shifeta said the approved project – improving rangeland and ecosystem management practices of smallholder farmers under conditions of climate change in the Sesfontein, Fransfontein and Warmquelle areas of Namibia – brings the number of GCF financed projects in Namibia to three.

The EIF, which at the moment is Namibia’s only accredited entity to the GCF, has developed all three projects in consultation with relevant stakeholders.