More than 200 000 benefit from EIF projects

Since 2015, the Environmental Investment Fund has mobilised about N$560 million in grants for projects helping Namibia adapt to the impact of climate change.

10 July 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



A total of 238 000 people are expected to benefit from current projects funded by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF).

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said this at the appointment of the new board of the EIF.

The EIF was established in 2011 to manage an endowment fund that will generate income in perpetuity and to allocate this income to projects relating to the sustainable use and management of natural resources.

In 2015, the EIF was accredited by the Green Climate Fund and has since been able to mobilise approximately N$560 million in grants, mainly for projects relating to climate-change adaptation.



Green credit

The EIF has also been instrumental in the establishment of a credit facility known as the Sustainable Utilisation of Natural Resources and Energy Financing programme (SUNREF Namibia).

This facility is worth approximately N$800 million at the current exchange rate and is supported by the French Development Agency.

It is being implemented through three commercial banks to support entrepreneurs in the areas of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and tourism development, with the EIF providing technical support.

Shifeta further said that following the introduction of environmental taxes on harmful products the EIF now receives 30% of all environmental taxes on incandescent bulbs, tyres, and carbon emissions.

New taxes were also introduced last year on plastic bags, lubricant oils and batteries.

To date the EIF has received approximately N$31 million worth of environmental taxes from the finance ministry.

Shifeta said through the fund's mix of projects and programmes 44 natural resource-based enterprises were created in 23 communal conservancies, 120 boreholes were rehabilitated to the benefit of more than 60 000 people and 950 jobs were created, mainly in rural areas.



Staying relevant

Shifeta stressed that the new board should upgrade the EIF's accreditation status with the Green Climate Fund so that the EIF can access larger-scale projects.

He said linked to this is a need to ensure that the EIF is adequately capitalised so that it can plan and execute its projects efficiently and effectively.

This should also allow the EIF to expand its portfolio of financial products beyond grants and concessional lending.

Shifeta said there is also a need to amend the Environmental Investment Fund Act, which has become outdated.

The new board members are Titus Ndove (chair), Karen Knot (deputy chair), Desire Theunissen, Kisco Sinvual and Olavi Hamutumwa.

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