As the only institution in Namibia accredited to access funds from the Green Climate fund (GCF), the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) offers loans and grants to individuals, projects, and communities to address environmental related issues, so that the country can have environmental integrity.
A series of regional training workshops by EIF are currently underway with the theme ‘Empower to Adapt’ to sensitise members of conservancies and community forests about climate change adaptation and mitigation. The training aims to prepare them to write up project proposals to access the soon to be realised grant funds.
Projects should be able to incorporate climate adaptation response strategies into local practices so that assets, livelihoods and ecosystem services are protected from climate induced risks. Issues of gender equality and marginalised groups should also be looked at, in order to fulfil our national obligations. The goal is to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to impacts of climate change within the CBNRM set up.
Currently there are 83 gazetted conservancies and 32 community forests in Namibia which are eligible to access these grants. A total of 33 grants will be given from a lump sum of US$8,601,469.99 to conservancies and community forests to come up with projects within the areas of climate resilient agriculture, climate proof infrastructure and ecosystem based adaptation. Under climate resilient agriculture, US$2,279,941.74 will be given to cover for 6 grants, climate proof infrastructure will get US$1,400,000.00 for 15 grants while ecosystem based adaptation will get US$4,921,528.25 for 12 grants. A maximum of 15% can be used to pay for technical support from NGOs and consultants if need be.
During the southern training in Keetmashoop, participants were asked to identify climate change induced effects that they are currently facing and would like to tackle. Some of these include drought, rainfall and season variability, veld fire and land degradation. A participants training manual which contains information on climate change mitigation and adaptation, proposal writing tips and requirements to access the grants was used to train participants.
After the training, participants will be well informed and better equipped to come up initiatives that will enhance their communities’ livelihoods. This was confirmed by Emil Jacobs from //Gamaseb conservancy who says that he is glad to have attended the workshop. With the knowledge gained, he is ready to plough back into his community by helping small scale farmers to intensify their farming systems.
Conservancies and community forests were urged to start brainstorming about ideas of significant projects that could change the status quo and start preparing their proposal packages before calls for proposals comes out in August. The workshop will end in Otjiwarongo where it will cover for the central regions.