The ministry of environment in conjunction with conservation partners raised N$22 million for the Covid-19 relief, recovery and resilience.
The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, in May, launched the conservation relief, recovery and resilience facility.
It aims to respond to the threat posed by Covid-19 to long-term sustainability and success of the community-based conservation programmes.
Conservancy income from tourism operations is approximately N$60 million per year, with an additional N$65 million paid in salaries to tourism staff living in conservancies. The jobs of 700 community game guards and rhino rangers, 300 conservancy support staff, and 1175 locally hired tourism staff are in jeopardy. As a result, the 30-year effort to build Namibia’s communal conservancy programme is under severe threat.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda said efforts are still ongoing to raise more funds to cover critical costs.
“Consequently, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in losses of income to most communal conservancies due to the complete halt in hunting and tourism activities. Thus far, nearly 80 out of 86 communal conservancies have signed the emergency grants agreements,” Muyunda noted.
He said a disbursement to conservancies is already underway.
Muyunda revealed the communal conservancies are crucial institutions in wildlife conservation, protection of biodiversity and poverty reduction and that it is, therefore, imperative to keep these institutions functional.
The ministry assured the public that despite the challenges of poaching, drought and Covid-19, the wildlife population especially that of rhino is in a health state.
2020-07-01 10:33:43 | 5 days ago