19 Sep 2013 07:50
WINDHOEK, 19 SEP (NAMPA) - Namibia has received co-financing amounting to US.dollars 40,5 million (about N.dollars 405 million) from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for scaling-up community resilience to climate variability and climate change.
A report issued by the GEF under the theme Investing in Land Stewardship and made available during the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) here on Wednesday, said the project is earmarked for northern Namibia, with a special focus on women and children.
The venture falls under projects with activities in production landscapes, approved under special climate change funds during the 2012 and 2013 financial years.
According to the report, climate change has brought about an increase in floods and droughts in northern Namibia.
This directly affects rural farmers, who depend on rain-fed subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, and regional councils under the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development are carrying out baseline investments in agricultural development, notably through enhanced access to irrigation and agricultural inputs such as fertilisers, seeds and machinery. To date, however, these initiatives have failed to adequately consider the effects of climate change, it noted.
Accordingly, the proposed Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) project will complement and enhance the resilience of Namibia's Green Scheme projects, the Rain-fed Crop Production Programme, and the Food/Cash for Work Programme.
The project is structured around three principle components - aiming to strengthen the capacities of smallholder farmers to implement climate-resilient agricultural production practices; reducing vulnerability to droughts and floods through the restoration of wells, and harvesting of floodwater for food security; and mainstreaming climate change into a national agricultural strategy or sector policy, including adjustments to budgets for replication and upscaling.
The project is consistent with Namibia's Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4), which sets out a number of development barriers to be addressed, including priority economic sectors such as agriculture.
The project is also in alignment with a selection of national strategies, such as the National Climate Change Policy, National Disaster Risk Management Policy and the National Gender Policy.
The period 2012 to 2013 has seen major progress and achievements with respect to the GEFs role in general as financial mechanism of the UNCCD, and more specifically in relation to GEF activities in the Land Degradation Focal Area (LDFA).
With the LDFA portfolio having a fairly significant number of projects covering a range of geographies, agro-ecologies and thematic issues, the potential for achieving transformational impacts through sustainable land management is now high for all affected regions.
This presents a timely opportunity for the GEF and UNCCD to strengthen collaboration for actions and innovations to more effectively monitor global environmental benefits and impacts at scale, as well as demands for targeted investments to scale-up the achievements beyond project sites, the report added.