Sixth conference on sustainable development in Namibia in view of COP21 : Implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change following COP21 and COP22
The sixth and last conference on climate change organized by the Embassy of France and the FNCC, with the support of InnoSun and RMB, offered a balance sheet of what has been done since COP21 and COP22 as well as the Paris agreement, and on the future prospects.
H.E. Jaqueline Bassa-Mazzoni, Ambassador of France, began by stressing that the Paris agreement, which entered into force on November 4th 2016 and has been ratified by 133 so far, Namibia included. It has already ensured an up-to-the-challenge financing of numerous projects supported by the Green Fund and of the 70 Action Agenda initiatives. The Ambassador underlined the importance of public-private partnerships in the field of climate change.
The Environment Commissioner at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Theofilus Nghitila, reaffirmed the strong implication of Namibia at the international level, especially as it was one of the first countries in the world to ratify the Paris agreement. At the national level, the MET works with other ministries towards the development of renewable energies and the realization of numerous projects. As a way to efficiently mobilize international financing, the government is currently setting up a committee at the ministry level to coordinate financing activities related to environmental projects.
The CEO of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF), Benedict Libanda, presented the projects his organization supports with the help of international sponsors such as the French Development Agency (SUNREF project), the European Investment Bank, the Deutsche Bank and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). He announced that the EIF had been the 19th organism accredited by the GCF, which allows it to already enjoy 2 loans from this fund.
Thanks to international financing, the EIF is able to carry a great number of bottom-up projects that bring together local populations and half-adaptation half-mitigation strategies, such as the development of green tourism or of sustainable livestock.
Mrs Paola Formenti, researcher at the CNRS and AEROCLO-sA project manager, a project backed by the CNRS, the CNES and MeteoFrance, and Gillian Maggs-Kölling, executive director of the Gobabeb Research & Training Center, explained the reasons why their field research in Namibia was contributing to a better understanding of global warming, to the education of populations and to the development of adaptation measures. The educative projects lead by the Gobabeb Center aim at training NUST and UNAM students to scientific tools and to pass on to them a certain technical knowledge relative to the environment.
- The audience gathered for the event. First row : InnoSun’s Managing director Usata Imbili, Embassy of France’s chargé d’affaires Alexandre Peaudeau, and InnoSun’s project engineer Alexandre Matton. Second row : Patrick Portes-Gagnol, cooperation consellor for the French Embassy
Finally, the CEO of InnoSun/InnoVent Gregoire Verhaeghe, and the managing director of the Franco-Namibian SME InnoSun Usuta Imbili, demonstrated that the energy mix (solar, wind, biomass and hydro-electricity) could allow Namibia to become energy self-sufficienty as of 2020 and a net exporter of green energy, which would considerably shrink its power bill. This is without mentioning the potential gains of green energy regarding employment and technology transfer.
- From left to right : Mrs Meriam Onesmus, Hon. Ben Amathila, InnoSun’s managing director Usuta Imbili, the executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) Dr Laurie Marker, the Ambassador of France to Namibia H.E. Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni , InnoSun/InnoVent’s CEO Grégoire Verhaeghe, AEROCLO-sA’s project manager Paola Formenti, deputy speaker of the Youth Parliament Emma Theofelus, Gobabeb Research and Training’s executive director Centre Gillian Maggs-Kölling, EIF’s CEO Benedict Libanda.