Harmonising with nature is the only choice

Martin Endjala

Namibia should scale up efforts and partnerships to promote nature-based solutions and climate actions for the benefit of its people, said the Chief Executive Officer of Environmental Investment Fund during the commemoration of World Earth Day, yesterday.

Benedict Libanda said the Environmental Investment Fund in commemorating this day to recognise that we have “Only One Earth” from which we all depend.

Nature-based solutions and climate action create opportunities for economic growth and social development.

‘’The potential for green jobs exist and we must as a nation diversify our range of financial options to support the development agenda,’’ said Libanda.

People, he continued, must change the way they produce and consume as well as the way they interact with nature and its resources, through innovative green finance that would lead to a positive impact on sustainability.

“On this day, let’s be reminded that we have ‘Only One Earth’ and that nature is at the heart of

development and a strong enabler for achieving all the Sustainable Development Goals and we must all protect it and live sustainably because when you take care of nature it takes care of you”, said Libanda.

He continued by saying that ‘’Man have the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and wellbeing, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations.’’

He also emphasized that it is key to scale up efforts to sensitize and empower citizens to act and make smart choices. This is particularly true for the youth, who have become more sensitised to sustainability issues, thanks to higher education and exposure via various social media.

World Environment Day was first observed 50 years ago with the slogan “Only One Earth” in Sweden.

Five decades later, it still stands true as the Earth is still the only home, and humanity must safeguard its finite resources.

This year’s main commemoration is being hosted in Sweden alongside the Stockholm+50 conference under the theme “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity”, to discuss urgent and bold actions needed to secure a more sustainable future.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on governments to shift to a circular and regenerative economy, saying that GDP is no longer a correct way to measure richness in today’s world. ‘’We must place true value on the environment and go beyond Gross Domestic Product as a measure of human progress and well-being.’’

The Environmental Investment Fund is Namibia’s own response to the growing global need for green financing. Established in terms of the Environmental Investment Fund Act, Act 13 of 2001 its mandate is to raise funding for investments into projects and programs that promote sustainable development.

It is currently one of the fastest growing green and climate financing institutions in Africa. As part of its vision to be a recognized leader in the development and application of innovative financing mechanisms to support sustainable development and ensuring inclusive development for all the people of Namibia.

Among its recognizable impacts to date since inception, the Fund has disbursed grants valued at more than N$583 million, ensuring that more than 240-thousand-256 hectares of land are under conservation, 71 grants approved for different environmental projects, creating more than 950 employment opportunities, mostly rural based.

Others include season ones and retrofitted 120 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 bank from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) under the SUNREF project in Namibia.

The fund has further attracted and mobilized more than N$1.7 billion mostly from multilateral and developmental funding institutions and partners.

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