Climate change project to benefit 60 000

10 November 2020 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has launched a climate change resilience project that will directly benefit 60 000 people in Namibia.

Shifeta launched the project at Keetmanshoop on Friday.

According to him it is a N$146 million project that is being implemented by the ministry between 2020 and 2024

It is estimated that the project will directly benefit about 60 000 people and an additional 156 000 indirectly, which he said will be mainly natural resource reliant communities.

Speaking at the launch, the CEO of the Environmental Investment Fund, Benedict Libanda, said the EBA project aims to increase climate change resilience of productive landscapes in Namibia.

This, he said, would be done through the implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation actions that strengthen social and ecological systems to sustain livelihoods at local level and facilitate value chains of natural resources.



Biodiversity

Libanda said eight landscapes covering 225 689 square kilometres were identified to implement the project.

Shifeta said the EBA project is based on the premise that biodiversity and ecosystems provide valuable services that increase the climate resilience of local communities.

Activities undertaken as part of this project will be to maintain and enhance ecosystem integrity, to continue to support the generation of food and income and to reduce the severity of negative socio-economic impacts of climate change on vulnerable rural households.

In addition, the project emphasises building resilient communities by restoring and maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services, increasing habitat connectivity with co-benefits of carbon sequestration and restoring the capacity of ecosystems to regulate water cycles.

According to Shifeta, between 800 and 1 000 households are likely to benefit through community level adaptation projects, while over 200 people, constituting government officials and small-scale farmers, will be directly trained in awareness of climate threats and related appropriate responses.



Major threat

Shifeta added that global temperatures are increasing and adaptation to climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.

“More than 70% of the Namibian population depends on climate vulnerable ecosystems for their livelihoods, thus it is imperative that Namibia strives to identify pathways to implement adaptive mechanism thorough various developmental interventions among the citizenry to address impact of climate change.”

Libanda said the impacts of global warming on Namibia include that annual rainfall will continue to reduce up to 4%, cereal and livestock production will reduce by 10% and the number of hot days will increase by 21 per year.

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