Director of Ceremonies-
− Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism
− Her Excellency, Alka Bhatia, UNDP Namibia Resident Representative
− Mr. Richard Meeks, Managing Director of Nedbank Namibia Limited
− Members of the media − Ladies and Gentlemen
I'm very honoured, on behalf of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia to announce our contributions towards the Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility
Before I continue, I would like to congratulate Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism for establishing this facility, it is indeed a novel vehicle that will contribute significantly towards our efforts to fight COVID-19. Moreover, and on behalf or the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, we look forward with optimism to lead the implementation of the Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility.
The Environmental investment Fund of Namibia recognises the important role that CBNRM plays in Namibia’s rural livelihood and development at large. To place this into context, 60% of Namibians are reliant on natural resource use for their livelihoods. About 230,000 people live within the CBNRM areas. In 2018, communal conservancies facilitated more than 4,900 jobs, with the majority employed as game guards and in the tourism and hospitality industry, representing about N$65-80 million in wages and salaries. All these economic benefits have been eroded by COVID-19, threating household food security, unsustainable utilisation of natural resources, and poaching.
It is for this reason that the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia is making a contribution of N$6 million (Six Million Namibian Dollars) to the Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility. These funds will be used to support communal conservancies and community forests to cover their operational costs of ensuring biodiversity conservation. This will include support towards salaries, anti-poaching activities, natural resource equipment, and human wildlife conflict.
In conclusion, I would to use this opportunity to announce that the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia intends to sustain funding to the Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility beyond COVID-19 as there are projected future shocks within the conservation sector and therefore we need to be alert all the time.
I thank you very much.