A stringent set of mandates govern the functions of the Environmental Investment Fund. The Fund has the following functions:
- Raise financial resources: The fund is mandated to raise funds using both local and international mechanisms and sources. The State as sole shareholder has capitalised the fund with public funds at inception in 2012. The Fund's Business strategy however outlines options of sustainable financing to support the activities of the Fund.
- Invest in environmental protection: The Fund earmarks particular areas for investment; all strongly linked to environmental protection, natural resource management and sustainable industrial practices.
The EIF invests in and supports projects and activities which promote the national development strategy of the Government of the Republic of Namibia but for which it is currently unable to provide the required financial investments.
Poverty alleviation is one of the targets of the national development strategy. Poverty is in itself directly linked to inaccessibility to, and or skewed distribution and ownership of natural resources. This eventually leads to degradation and inefficient use of those resources and an unending cycle of poverty and natural resource destruction.
The EIF is not the panacea for this larger societal problem. More than just a fund for financing "conservation activities", the Fund however plays an important role in assisting society to protect its natural resource base while providing economic development.