12 September 2012

Namibia: Nation Still Wants to Host Green Climate Fund

THE Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, yesterday denied "malicious" rumours that Namibia has pulled out of hosting the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Green Climate Fund.

"These allegations are completely unfounded and should be rejected in the strongest terms," Nandi-Ndaitwah said, vowing that the country is still steadfast in hosting the secretariat of the fund.

Namibia is vying against countries such as Germany, Mexico, Poland, South Korea and Switzerland to host the fund's headquarters.

The environment ministry, with support from others like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has led an intensive lobbying campaign and Namibia's candidature has been endorsed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU). Almost all developing countries have also thrown their weight behind Namibia's bid.

"Given the strong foundation, we are more determined than ever to pursue this process to its logical conclusion and to bring this prestigious and forward-looking institution to the southern hemisphere in general, and Namibia in particular," Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

The bidding process went into top gear in Geneva, Switzerland, in August, and a board consisting of 24 members is currently working on how the fund should operate and ultimately which country should host it.

The minister said the ministry was still confident that Namibia was the best candidate.

The Green Climate Fund has the mandate to serve the interests of developing countries whose vulnerability to climate change is greatest.

The long-term goal of the fund is to transform the livelihoods of people by responding to the impacts of climate change in developing countries.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said Namibia was demonstrating strong leadership and was a role model for other developing countries in the area of climate change and broader environmental management.

Namibia finalised its national climate change policy last year.

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