JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The South African government has received 590 Green Fund applications worth 1.225 billion U.S. dollars in the first round of request for funding proposals, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) said Thursday.
Through the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the government has set up a Green Fund to support the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient development path delivering high impact economic, environmental and social benefits.
The DEA has appointed the DBSA as the implementing agent of the Green Fund.
"Applications will now go through a rigorous evaluation process based on the Fund's approved criteria. This process will take between three and five months before applicants are notified of the outcome," DBSA spokesperson Jabu Mthembu said.
Based in South Africa, DBSA is a leading development finance institution in Southern African Development Community (SADC). Its main purpose is to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development by funding physical, social and economic projects.
Mthembu said organizations that have applied include non-profit organizations, the private sector and government departments across all the nine provinces of South Africa.
DEA says the fund's aims to provide catalytic finance to facilitate investment in green initiatives that will support poverty reduction and job creation.
Successful proposals will align with three funding windows, green cities and towns, low carbon economy initiatives which address cleaner production and energy efficiency and Natural Resource Management projects including biodiversity and ecosystem services management, the DBSA said.
"Importantly, The Green Fund will support innovative initiatives that are catalytic and have the ability to be implemented on a wider scale. Successful projects must demonstrate how environmental objectives can be integrated into infrastructure services and programmes," Mthembu said.
DEA Director-General Nosipho Ngcaba welcomed the overwhelming response to funding.
According to Group Executive for Development Planning at the DBSA Ravi Naidoo, Green Fund projects will assist in identifying how the government can approach infrastructure program and ensuring more sustainable development in South Africa.