WINDHOEK - The Game Products Trust Fund (GPTF) has reinvested close to N$100 million into conservation efforts such as wildlife protection and anti-poaching.
A bulk of those funds went to projects and activities aimed at wildlife protection and management, anti-poaching initiatives, wildlife research, studies and surveys, the development and protection of water infrastructure and support towards the management of human wildlife conflict.
A portion of the N$100 million conservation war chest went into self-reliance schemes.
This was revealed by Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta who on Tuesday inaugurated fund’s board members who resumed office on 11 July.
The new board members are; Louisa Mupetami who was reappointed as chairperson from Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Taina Nankela from Ministry of Finance, Dr Johannes Shoopala from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Asser Ujaha from the Kunene Regional Community Conservancy Association and Richard Nyambe from the Zambezi Natural Resource Management Association.
The main recipients of the funds provided by the Game Products Trust Fund is the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, communal conservancies and rural communities and non-governmental organisations.
Shifeta said the fund has also been facing some challenges over the years related to the increase in human wildlife conflicts which demands for more funding in the management of the conflict, reduction in the inflow of cash into the coffers of the fund due to reasons related to a slow-down in the global economic activities, growing demand for funding due to limited funding opportunities elsewhere as well as the consistent threat posed by poaching.
The fund aims to make grants to emerging conservancies and wildlife councils for the purposes of implementing and maintaining projects and programmes, approved by the board in consultation with the Minister of Environment and Tourism, regarding wildlife conservation and management and rural development.
It also aims to allocate funds, subject to the provisions of the Game Products Trust Fund Act, to protected areas, and to persons, organisations and institutions approved by the minister, to be used in connection with projects and programmes regarding wildlife conservation and management and rural development.
The fund is annually capitalised with funds collected from the sale of trophy hunting concessions, the removal of problem causing animals, the head levies on the live export of animals, the live auction of game or wildlife, and grants and donations.
Shifeta noted the fund continues to play an indispensable role in conservation, wildlife protection and management.
“As I introduce the new Board with high confidence in their abilities to take the Game Products Trust Fund to greater heights, I would like to thank the outgoing Board for the high commitment that they have shown to conservation and wildlife management over the past six years,” he congratulated.
He said their decisions contributed to meeting the objectives of the Game Products Trust Fund and in turn contributed to the harmonisation of the coexistence of people and wildlife as well as to the reduction of wildlife crimes in Namibia.
“Your CVs and my own conviction give me no doubt that you will add considerable value to the activities of the Game Products Trust Fund and I trust that you will carry out your duties with due diligence and to the word as stipulated under the founding Act of the Game Products Trust Fund,” he said.