Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change as heavy rainfalls and floods in Mozambique and Zimbabwe during 2019, among others, have shown. The floods are affecting thousands of people, who lost their homes, crops and livestock. Other countries in southern Africa, including Namibia, endured the other extreme – drought over the past years.
To date, more than 10 projects with a cost of N$1,21 billion have been mobilised from multilateral and bilateral sources in Namibia through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Namibia's Environmental Investment Fund over the past five years, ending December 2019. Other projects are ongoing.
The projects contribute to rural development and livelihood improvement throughout Namibia, during a time when the country has been seriously affected by consecutive and severe droughts. Projects range from drilling boreholes equipped with solar pumps, building innovative kraals to protect livestock from predators, constructing water holes for elephants, improved park management, to the establishment of a centre of excellence for climate resilient agriculture. The projects implement approaches to agriculture such as hydroponics, community gardens based on conservation agriculture and drip irrigation, fodder production as well as water harvesting.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants and vegetables in water without soil. Nutrients for growth are added to the water. Hydroponics can be applied in small areas, even in the yards of homesteads. Animal fodder can also be grown this way.
National focal point
The ministry of environment is the national focal point to several multilateral environmental agreements, and plays a key role in identifying, designing and coordinating project ideas for funding as well as formulating project proposals. It also monitors the implementation of projects in support of broader government socio-economic, environmental and poverty eradication objectives.
Namibia's own environmental fund
The Environmental Investment Fund was established in 2011, under the mandate of being a sustainable source of funding for the development and implementation of environmentally sustainable development projects and programmes in partnership with public and private sector organisations.
These cover natural resource management, green technology and low carbon development, nature-based tourism, and capacity building. In 2016, the EIF became one of the first accredited entities to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which financially supports developing countries to adapt to climate change and become climate resilient. The EIF falls under the ministry of environment and plays a major role in mobilising funding and overseeing the implementation of projects.
Germany is a key partner
In terms of bilateral cooperation between Namibia and Germany, five projects are currently underway or have recently been completed with support from the German government to the value of N$665,6 million. Partners are the GIZ (Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit) and the German Development Bank KfW. The GIZ also supports Namibia's legal and policy frameworks linked to environmental management, climate change and biodiversity conservation.
Solar energy gains importance
France provided funds via Namibia's Environmental Investment Fund, in collaboration with the French Development Agency. This facility enables entrepreneurs to obtain loans for renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and tourism development – like solar energy for communal lodges and to drive solar water pumps. These funds are made available directly to local commercial banks (as a loan), while these banks in turn offer loans to entrepreneurs at concessional rates.
Namibia also regularly submits its climate adaptation progress reports to the United Nations.