EIF Knowledge Management Part 2
Climate Financing contribution by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia
The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia is a statutory fund established in terms of the Environmental Investment Fund Act, Act No.13 of 2001. EIF’s mandate is to raise funding from government and other sources for investment into projects that promote sustainable development and poverty alleviation through sustainable management and use of natural resources.
As State Owned Enterprise, the Fund has played significant role towards climate change financing and sustainable development funding over the past 9 years. The EIF mobilize funds from international donors, developmental partners as well as from local financing stream to sustainably contribute to the key environment sector with focus on green technology, natural recourse management, tourism and research development in the country. To date, the Fund has attracted and mobilised more than N$1.8 billion mostly from multilateral funding through climate change grants and readiness Green Climate Fund (GCF), concessional green credit line (Agency for French Development), government allocation and environmental taxes as part of Domestic Resource Mobilization respectively.
The Fund continues to innovate and change the way we use environmental based resources in Namibia, driving energy efficiency, and renewable energy growth across the country and supporting a new era for environmental based enterprises such as waste management, nature-based tourism, sustainable agriculture, and unlocking value chains for inclusive growth and job creation.
The Fund sought accreditation from GCF in 2016, in order to intensify actions addressing the impact of climate change through implementing projects and programmes whilst promoting social and economic benefits. The Fund is currently implementing four GCF funded projects namely: 1. FP023 -Climate Resilient Agriculture in three of the Vulnerable Extreme northern crop growing regions (CRAVE), 2. FP024: Empower to Adapt: Creating Climate-Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia (CBRNM-EDA), 3. SAP001 – Improving rangeland and ecosystem management practices of smallholder farmers under conditions of climate change in Sesfontein, Fransfontein, and Warmquelle areas of the Republic of Namibia, and 4. SAP006: Building resilience of communities living in landscapes threatened under climate change through an ecosystems-based adaptation approach (EbA). The Fund has so far to date created about 44 natural resource based enterprises in 23 constituencies, rehabilitated 120 boreholes and benefited more than 77 000 community members with access to portal drinking water, 950 employment opportunities created, mostly rural based including seasonal ones, 20MW combined installed capacity through solar plants. About 36 students were supported at undergraduate and postgraduate level, 240,256 ha of land under conservation, 162 households retrofitted with solar home appliances and 238,000 people benefited from projects both directly and indirectly administered by the EIF.
Namibia’s climate is predicted to be hotter and drier as a result of climate change, with more variability in rainfall which lead to increased frequency of droughts and floods, severe water scarcity and shifting ecosystems. In an environment that is arid, there is relatively low adaptive capacity and this significantly affect the country’s economic development, hence the need for climate financing in Namibia. Although Namibia is one of the countries that have access to climate financing, the focus has been on small scale projects and not large scale projects. Experience with managing large scale adaptation and mitigation programs is relatively limited at present. EIF seeks to address these challenges through strengthening climate change coordination, awareness, capacity at regional and local levels and expanding its portfolio to manage large scale impactful projects by accessing funding through multilateral funding opportunities in climate change related fraternity. There are quite a number of successful on-going initiatives at the Fund that are promoting sustainable development at community level such as the CBNRM programme. This approach will also open new opportunities for accessing international sources of funding in Namibia. As the world is looking forward to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), it is expected that the multilateral climate funds improves their capacity to target resources towards the most transformational mitigation and adaptation outcomes. This include enhancing country planning capacities and supporting country-led programming. In addition, there should be a concentrated effort to increase commitments, attract contributions from a broader set of donors, speed up programming approvals, enhance efficiencies and improve access to resources. Climate finance and in particular grants to be allocated to the poorest and most vulnerable. Although the country is experiencing drastic impacts of Covid-19 pandemic, EIF is devoted to access more climate finance in future to promote sustainable development and maintenance of healthy ecosystems and biodiversity for future generations.