Namibia: Shifeta Launches N$22 Million Climate-Change Project
Minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta on Friday launched an ecosystem-based adaptation project at Keetmanshoop.
The project will use ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) as a cost-effective, low-risk approach to building resilience to climate change across eight different Namibian landscapes.
The project is based on the premise that biodiversity and ecosystems provide valuable services that increase local communities’ resilience against climate change.
Activities undertaken as part of the project will be to maintain and enhance ecosystem integrity to continue supporting the generation of food and income.
This is to reduce the severity of the negative socio-economic impact of climate change on vulnerable rural households.
In addition, adaptive capacities at community level will be improved so that communities are able to sustainably manage natural resources.
This project has an estimated lifespan of five years.
The launch of this project, funded by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), coincides with the handing over of grants worth N$22 million to community and natural resource-based organisations in the Hardap and //Kharas regions.
Shifeta on Friday said N$106 million has been directly committed to community-based natural resource organisations so far, and these grants have created 200 jobs.
He warned there will be consequences if the grants are used inappropriately.
Shifeta said adaptation to climate change is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.
“Climate change is already impacting vulnerable ecosystems such as drylands, mountains and coastal areas,” he said, adding Namibia is not spared.
Shifeta said more than 70% of the Namibian population depends on vulnerable ecosystems for their livelihoods.
It is therefore imperative that Namibia strives to identify pathways to implement adaptive mechanisms to deal with the impact of climate change, he said.
The project will directly benefit about 60 000 people and an additional 156 000 indirectly, the minister said.
Shifeta said between 800 and 1000 households are likely to benefit through community-level adaptation projects, and more than 200 people, comprising government officials and small-scale farmers, will be trained on climate-threat awareness and related appropriate responses.
EIF chief executive officer Benedict Libanda said climate change and its impact can be seen in the country in the annual rainfall reduction of 4%, cereal and livestock reductions of 10%, an increase of 10% in the evaporation rate, and an increase in the number of hot days by 21 per annum.
“So, imagine these impacts in a worst-case scenario that is projected at three degrees global warning by the turn of the century. The results will be devastating for Namibia,” he said.