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In the heart of Namibia’s Zambezi Region lies a tale of resilience, innovation, and community empowerment. The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) has played a pivotal role in shaping Zambezi’s economic trajectory through strategic investments and initiatives.

Through strategic investments by the EIF, the region has witnessed transformative projects aimed at building climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods. These interventions have laid the groundwork for enhancing agricultural resilience and empowering local communities.

Zambezi presents a myriad of opportunities across various sectors; from climate-resilient agriculture and renewable energy to eco-tourism and community-based enterprises, the region offers fertile ground for sustainable investments that yield both social and economic returns.

The EIF stands as Namibia’s robust response to the pressing global demand for green financing, sculpted by the impactful Environmental Investment Fund Act, Act 13 of 2001. Pioneering sustainable development, it has swiftly emerged as one of Africa’s premier green and climate financing institutions. Envisioning itself as a trailblazer, the EIF strives to be a recognised leader in innovative financing mechanisms, committed to inclusive development for all Namibians. As a national entity and environmental fund, the EIF fervently invests in projects safeguarding Namibia’s natural resources, harmonising environmental preservation with sustainable economic development.

EIF’s journey commenced over a decade ago, with a pivotal re-accreditation in 2022, setting ambitious targets for green economy growth by 2026. The Zambezi Region, renowned for its ecological diversity and vibrant communities, offers a unique canvas for environmental stewardship and economic empowerment. The region’s vulnerability to climate change and its rich potential for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management make it an ideal locus for EIF’s interventions.

Despite the progress, Zambezi faces its share of challenges, including climate variability and socioeconomic disparities. However, these challenges are accompanied by opportunities for innovation and collaboration, paving the way for inclusive growth and development.

The Zambezi region is faced with climate vulnerability, hence the EIF of Namibia is continuously addressing the adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture and natural resource-dependent livelihoods by ensuring that community empowerment take centre stage of its investment and interventions by ensuring inclusive participation and equitable distribution of benefits across diverse community groups.

The EIF envision the region to be at the centre of sustainable development and to be a hub of climate-resilient agriculture, vibrant ecosystems, and empowered communities thriving in harmony with nature. There are opportunities for strategic expansion by scaling up investments in nature-based solutions, leveraging technology, and advocating for policy reforms to catalyse sustainable development, focusing on sustainable development through community-centric approach by empowering local communities, enhancing financial inclusion, and fostering partnerships for impactful environmental stewardship.

Overview of Grants for Zambezi Region:

Climate Resilient Agriculture In Three Of The Vulnerable Extreme Northern Crop-Growing Regions (Crave) Project

With a US$10 million budget spanning 2018 to 2023 from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Climate Resilient Agriculture in three of the Vulnerable Extreme Northern Crop-Growing Regions (CRAVE) project is a linchpin in fortifying Namibia’s agriculture against climate change.

Nestled in Zambezi, Kavango East, and Kavango West, Namibia’s agricultural hub faces heightened vulnerability and food insecurity due to rainfed farming. The Comprehensive Agriculture Programme for Namibia (2015-2019) highlighted the urgent need for innovative solutions.

Championed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform (MAWLR) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), CRAVE tackles vulnerability and food insecurity head-on. By promoting conservation agriculture, off-grid solar energy, and market access, it revolutionises farming practices.

CRAVE’s three components enhance adaptive capacity and resilience:

i. establishes research centres and pilots innovative techniques

ii. equips farmers with sustainable practices and micro crop insurance.

iii. fosters solar technology adoption, empowering farmers economically.

CRAVE champions gender equality and women’s empowerment. Twenty-five female tractor drivers have been trained, operating tractors deployed with their implements, including CA rippers, across Kavango East, Kavango West, and Zambezi regions. This initiative not only breaks gender barriers but also enhances efficiency in agricultural operations.

In addition, the project has facilitated over 42 smallscale farmers’ access to services and facilities to market their produce, fostering economic growth and stability within these communities.

Beyond intervention, CRAVE is a strategic imperative safeguarding livelihoods and enhancing food security. With innovation and collaboration, it charts a resilient future for Namibia’s agriculture, driving sustainable growth and prosperity for all.

Building Climate Resilient Livelihoods: The Transformative Impact Of CBNRM EDA In Namibia

Amidst the backdrop of Namibia’s rich natural heritage lies a ground-breaking initiative poised to empower rural communities and safeguard their livelihoods against the encroaching threats of climate change. The Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) approach, entrenched in Namibia since 1996, has paved the way for sustainable resource utilization through local community organizations.

Stepping boldly into this arena is the “Empower to Adapt: Creating Climate-Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia” (CBNRM EDA) project, backed by a robust US$10 million budget spanning 2018 to 2023 by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Building upon the successes of past CBNRM endeavours, this project marks a pivotal moment in bolstering communal conservancies and community forests to confront the challenges posed by climate change.

At the heart of CBNRM EDA lies a commitment to empower rural communities across Namibia’s vast landscape. By fostering climate awareness, enhancing adaptive capacity, and promoting lowcarbon development, the project endeavours to fortify local communities against the anticipated impacts of climate change.

One shining example of this transformative impact unfolds in the Zambezi region through the Sikanjabuka Community Forest. Here, the CBNRM EDA project injects vital funds totalling N$4,9million catalysing resilience efforts and bolstering food security amidst the spectre of climate change.

With a population of approximately 1,300 people, the Sikanjabuka Community Forest harnesses sustainable forest resources for subsistence and income generation but faces escalating threats from climate change. Through innovative horticultural projects and enterprise development initiatives, the project equips local communities with the tools to thrive in a changing climate.

Notably, the establishment of a functional greenhouse system powered by renewable energy stands as a beacon of sustainable progress, yielding a bumper harvest and generating vital income for community reinvestment.

The grant further enhanced climate resilience and improve food security through sustainable agriculture and livelihood interventions. Key 

activities included establishing climate-resilient farming practices, setting up greenhouse systems, rehabilitating water boreholes, and promoting organic agriculture for job creation and income generation.

Similarly, the Lusese Conservancy, nestled within the Zambezi region, emerges as a bastion of climate resilience with a grant of N$4,475,000 from the CBNRM EDA Project Grant Facility. Envisioning “Integrated Flood Management to enhance climate resilience of the eastern floodplains of the Zambezi Region of Namibia,” this project promises transformative change for vulnerable communities grappling with the impacts of climate-induced flooding. Through innovative flood relief infrastructure and locally sourced materials, the Lusese Conservancy project not only safeguards lives but also stimulates economic growth, creating 44 jobs and ensuring improved health and sanitation for thousands of residents. The project equally strengthening adaptive capacity and established infrastructure to mitigate climate risks associated with flooding.

As the CBNRM EDA project continues to unfold, it underscores Namibia’s unwavering commitment to climate resilience and community empowerment. Through strategic investments and collaborative efforts, it lays the foundation for a sustainable and prosperous future, where rural communities thrive amidst the challenges of a changing climate.

Empowering Lives And Transforming Landscapes Of Zambezi: The Impact Of Nilaleg Grants

The Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance to Eradicate Poverty (NILALEG) Project, funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) through the United Nations  Development Programme (UNDP), is a beacon of hope for sustainable development. With a significant investment totalling US$10,823,744, NILALEG aims to reverse environmental degradation and maximize livelihoods through integrated landscape management.

Under the stewardship of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) and the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism (MEFT), NILALEG exemplifies our commitment to enhancing livelihoods and environmental governance. Recent milestones include grants distributed across crop and rangeland management, agroforestry, and nature-based enterprise sectors, heralding a new era of sustainable development. Of particular significance are three grants totalling NAD 2,009,200.00 earmarked for the Zambezi targeted landscape. These grants hold immense potential to uplift communities, support initiatives in crop and rangeland management, reduce poverty, protect forests, agroforestry, and naturebased enterprises, conserve biodiversity, and promote Land degradation neutrality. NILALEG’s focus on Sustainable Development Goal 15 underscores its commitment to a thriving Namibian landscape. Through strategic investments and collaborative efforts, we pave the way for a future where landscapes flourish, livelihoods thrive, and poverty  becomes a relic of the past. Let us embark on this transformative journey towards a more sustainable and prosperous Namibia.

Strengthening Communities: The Impact of EbA Project

The building resilience of communities living in landscapes threatened under climate change through an ecosystems-based adaptation approach known in short as the “EbA Project” is aimed at increasing climate change resilience of productive landscapes in Namibia through implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation actions that strengthen social and ecological systems to sustain livelihoods at local level and facilitate value chains of natural resources.

The EbA Project, generously funded to the tune of USD$10 million by the Green Climate Fund, is a cornerstone of our efforts to combat the challenges of a changing climate in Namibia. Aimed at enhancing the resilience of communities living in landscapes threatened by climate change through ecosystem-based adaptation, this initiative stands as a beacon of hope for sustainable development.

By implementing actions that strengthen both social and ecological systems, we are working to sustain livelihoods at the local level and facilitate value chains of natural resources. The project’s objectives are clear: to enhance the resilience of natural resources and livelihoods sensitive to climate change impacts and to maintain and enhance ecosystem integrity to continue supporting food and income generation.

In July 2023, the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia disbursed grants totalling N$88,300,000 under the “Building Resilience of Communities Living in Eight Landscapes Threatened Under Climate Change Through an Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Approach in Namibia” initiative. Thirty four community-based organizations received grants to implement projects addressing climate change through ecosystem-based adaptation. Notably, beneficiaries included the Kanono Women Association and Kashivi Community Development Group from the Zambezi region.

The Kashivi Community Development Group received a grant of N$1,700,000 under the Restoration and Climate Proofing investment window. This funding will support their project aimed at enhancing community resilience and promoting sustainable development practices. The project aims to introduce sunflower cultivation and cooking oil production for communities in the Zambezi region. By enhancing agricultural activities, it is expected to create employment opportunities for community members, improve household food security, and contribute to local economic development.

Additionally, the Kanono Women Association’s project, focusing on sunflower cultivation and cooking oil production, received N$2,500,000 under the same investment window. The project aims to directly benefit 30 households, improving their food security and creating employment opportunities. These initiatives are expected to directly benefit households, improving food security, and creating employment opportunities within the Zambezi region.

Konono Women Association receiving their grant from the EbA grant

Through strategic investments and collaborative efforts, the EbA Project empowers communities to thrive amidst the challenges of climate change, ensuring a resilient and prosperous future for all.

These grants collectively represent a significant investment in building climate resilience, promoting sustainable livelihoods, and conserving natural resources in the Zambezi Region, contributing to the region’s development and environmental sustainability.


To the resilient people of Zambezi, we offer a message of hope and solidarity. Together, we possess the strength to overcome obstacles and unlock the full potential of the region. We deeply appreciate the ongoing support from the government and call upon policymakers to prioritize environmental sustainability, rural development, investment, and inclusive economic growth in Zambezi and beyond, ensuring no community is left behind in our quest for prosperity.

The journey of environmental investment in Zambezi is a testament to collaboration, innovation, and resilience. As we honour past achievements and embark on a path towards a sustainable future, let us unite in our dedication to nurture and safeguard the precious ecosystems that sustain life in this remarkable region. The EIF’s investment is more than just financial; it symbolizes Zambezi’s unwavering spirit and the limitless opportunities that lie ahead. With determination, we celebrate our journey of growth and resilience, knowing that Zambezi’s vibrant business landscape holds promise for a brighter tomorrow.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to partner organizations and the resilient communities of Zambezi for their steadfast commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development.

The Namibia government through the EIF has ensured that the indomitable spirit of Zambezi people and its boundless opportunities are unlocked and that there is continued support and investment in Zambezi’s development agenda, ensuring that no community is left behind in our pursuit for prosperity.