Eswatini learns from EIF on environment

Martin Endjala

The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) and the Eswatini Environmental Fund (EEF) have vowed to ensure that the environment is protected and sustained as they strive to reach a zero carbon emission and ensuring that resources are used for the benefit of all their citizens.

This comes after the EEF held a benchmark visit to the EIF for its National Environment Fund, last week. The purpose of visiting Namibia was to meet with the EIF and to learn from the institutional set-up in place that enables it to deliver on the same objectives as the Eswatini Environmental Fund (EEF).

The two institutions emphasised the importance of protecting the environment, while highlighting that the two institutions are hopeful that the two countries sign agreements to ensure environmental sustainability and that citizens of the two countries use their resources productively.

In addition, they further emphasised the need for EEF and EIF to form partnership, so that the shared resources can be mutually beneficial, with the head of delegation of the EEF stating that they are here to learn from Namibia because EIF is better resourced, better managed and it is one of the best examples to learn from.

The institutions compare notes on policy, which included fiduciary management policies, financial management system, the Green Climate Fund and how the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia is aligned to these policies.

The EIF shared with their counterpart issues around strategic planning and institutional performance reporting, procurement policy, EIF Gender policy, staff development, communication and outreach strategy, resource mobilization strategy and institutional investment plan.

The Environmental Investment Fund is Namibia’s own response mechanism to the growing global need for green financing. Established in terms of the Environmental Investment Fund Act, Act 13 of 2001 with a mandate to raise funding for investments into projects and programmes that promote sustainable environmental development it is currently one of the fastest growing green and climate financing institutions in Africa.

To date since its inception, the Fund has disbursed grants valued at more than N$583 million, ensured that more than 240,256 hectares of land are under conservation and 71 grants approved for different environmental projects.

This has created more than 950 employment opportunities, mostly rural based and include seasonal ones and retrofitted 169 boreholes that benefitted more than 77 000 who now have access to portable drinking water and attracted N$820 million for concessional Green Credit Line with participating commercial banks from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) under the SUNREF

project in Namibia.

By Observer