Launch of Africa Adaptation Programme in Namibia

08 Mar 2010

Communal land farmers such as Paulus Amutenya will be increasingly vulnerable to climate change shocks due to the effects on rain-fed horticulture production.  (Photo: UNDP)
Ondangwa – Namibia has become one of the first African countries to launch the climate change adaptation programme. Supported by the United Nations Development Programme –UNDP – the Namibia Africa Adaptation Project (NAM-AAP) will aim to create systems to manage climate change risks and opportunities in the long-term. It will focus on improved planning to help Namibia deal with climate change aspects such as, floods and drought risks.

Funded by the Government of Japan, Namibia is one of 20 African countries that has been selected to participate in the overall Africa Adaptation Programme, entitled “Supporting Integrated and Comprehensive Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation in Africa”, which is worth US$92.1 million.

Officiating at the launch of the US$3 million project, Namibian Prime Minister Mr. Nahas Angula thanked the Japanese government for choosing his country as one of the recipients stating, “We believe that the Namibia Africa Adaptation Project will contribute substantially to the attainment of our long-term Vision 2030, the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the goals that we have set for ourselves in the third National Development Plan.” The Prime Minister particularly emphasized the need for Namibia to look at all energy options so that the best alternative energy sources could be further developed.

The NAM-AAP aims to build effective leadership and institutional frameworks in Namibia for better coordination and integration of climate change programmes into development policy. Support to local community-climate change initiatives as well as priority sectors such as sanitation and health will also be enhanced. The project will asssist the government  to identify financing options so as to meet long-term national adaptation costs as well as expand knowledge management systems and information sharing.  

Climate induced changes will require alternative methods of crop cultivation such as the use of irrigation schemes which are already being used in Namibia as part of the government’s ‘Green Scheme’ (Photo: UNDP)
Speaking at the launch event, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Lebogang Motlana said that the launch of the NAM-APP was a milestone achievement in efforts to mainstream environment and energy concerns into the national development agenda. “In devising appropriate strategies to countenance the adverse effects of climate change, we must prioritize support to the most vulnerable, namely rural communities and the poor throughout the country. Importantly, we have to acknowledge that climate change will not impact communities equally, women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and therefore any policy recommendations and indeed the project we are launching today must have gender specific considerations addressed in all its interventions” he underlined.

In the past two years, northern Namibia has been faced by the most severe flooding recorded in more than four decades. The predicted effects of future warming are expected to exacerbate this already critical situation, coupled with the incidence of drought.

Japan’s support for climate change adaptation in Namibia and other developing countries is part of a US$10 billion ‘Cool Earth Partnership’ financial mechanism aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions while achieving economic growth. “We are very pleased that Namibia is part of this ‘Cool Earth Partnership’”, said Mr. Kunikazu Shimamoto from the Embassy of Japan in Pretoria. “The Government of Japan sincerely hopes that this project will assist Namibia in overcoming her vulnerabilities to climate change and in developing effective counter measures.”