“It is now my honour to formally declare the ‘Call for Proposals’ under this EDA project as officially launched” said the Minister of Environment and Tourism, the Honourable Pohamba Shifeta, after giving his statement at the official launch of the first call for proposals for climate change projects, at the Ministry head office in Windhoek on 30 July.
The launch came after a month of training by the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) to Community Based Organisations (CBOs) on how to access grant funding from the CBNRM Enhanced Direct Access (EDA) Project. An estimated N$100 million from the project will be made available, as part of the money the EIF secured from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in 2016. With the title Empower to Adapt: Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods through CBNRM in Namibia, the five year project seeks to build climate change resilience of more than 76,000 people living in rural areas and improve management of 7,200,000 hectares of communal areas in Namibia by working directly with the envisaged beneficiaries, especially farmers and CBOs.
The Minister pointed out that, this project is unique in the sense that unlike traditional funding approaches where funds come through bilateral and multilateral agencies, the GCF is entrusting this funding to the EIF on behalf of the anticipated beneficiaries. The project name stands for Enhance Direct Access. According to the Minister this is “the first and only grant that the GCF has awarded under the EDA modality, globally. Therefore, we must be aware that the entire world is following us with a keen interest to learn from our successes and our mistakes.”
A total of 33 grants ranging from about N$1.2 to 5.3 million will be given to successful grantees to invest into three categories of significance, which are climate resilient agriculture, climate proof infrastructure and ecosystem-based adaptation. “This is the first time that community-based institutions will receive and manage monies of this magnitude” said the Minister. Projects are expected to run from a minimum period of 6 months to a maximum of 3 years.
With the knowledge and skills created for developing climate change adaptation proposals, the Minister is confident that eligible targeted beneficiaries will treat this opportunity with the seriousness that it deserves.
That is why a series of regional workshops were held to train CBOs on how to write project proposals according to the prescribed EIF grant proposal format. The call for proposals will run for 3 months, from 3 August to 3 November.