Apply gender lens to climate finance
Paulus Ashili from the environment ministry, who was speaking on behalf of environmental commissioner Timoteus Mufeti, said this at the round-table discussion on gender mainstreaming and climate finance that took place in Windhoek on Thursday.
He said that climate change is not only one of the greatest environmental and developmental challenges facing the world today, but it is one that will have critical impacts on human rights and inequalities.
This includes gender inequality.
"As a country that is highly impacted by climate change, we have developed necessary legal frameworks, through the environment ministry, such as the climate change policy of 2011, which calls for climate change response to be gender sensitive."
He said that it further calls for the empowerment of communities of both men and women in terms of participating in planning, testing and the rollout of adaptation and mitigation activities in both rural and urban areas.
The latest climate change models, particularly from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, illustrate that at a 1.5-degree increase, the impact of climate change in Namibia will be felt.
Ashili said some impacts of global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius in relation to Namibia imply that annual rainfall will continue to reduce by up to 4%, while the evaporation rate will increase by 10%.
It will also mean that cereal and livestock production will reduce by 10%, and the number of hot days will increase by 21 per year.
Ashili said that this will be disastrous for Namibia’s rural setup, particularly women.
However, there have been notable efforts to advance women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and promote a gender-responsive climate policy and mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Convention and the work of the parties.
"The current climate finance architecture still has gender gaps that need to be overcome, especially when it comes to the implementation of projects on the ground, to engender the larger global climate finance regime."
According to Ashili, properly designed and executed climate-financing mechanisms – those that leverage empowerment and gender equality – have the potential to enhance the climate response effort while simultaneously improving women’s lives.
He said that this could, for example, be funding projects that also reduce the walking distance to access energy resources, water and sanitation or promote reforestation and sustainable forest management.
"This will promote sustainable environmental practices and decrease the negative effects on women and girls of environmental change and deterioration."
He said that similarly, funding that supports settlements for women-headed households that have lost their homes to disaster events will support adaptation and recovery efforts and will minimise stresses on the environment caused by refugee populations.