WINDHOEK - The Game Products Trust Fund (GPTF) received 59 applications for funding and was only able to fund 37 of those applications to a combined value of N$35.3 million during the 2016/17 to 2017/18 financial years.
GPTF chairperson Louisa Mupetami said it is evidently clear now that they have reached a stage where their available finances are unable to meet the growing demand for funding.
“We are working hard to find other avenues of income in order to augment our existing sources of income, to be able to continue playing our vital role of providing the much-needed funding for wildlife protection and management, human wildlife conflict management and to be in a better position to continue providing funding for anti-poaching activities and initiatives,” Mupetami noted.
Further, she said their annual successes have equally been dogged by challenges that they would like to acknowledge of being in a position to deal with at the moment.
She however admitted that this ability might not be there in the near future, given the current financial headwinds that have befallen Namibia.
Mupetami revealed prominent challenges that they have been facing throughout the reporting years are those related to human and wildlife conflict, a reduction in income from the fund’s traditional sources and a growing demand for funding due to limited funding opportunities elsewhere as well as the consistent threat from poaching. “I suppose it could be said that the fund is a victim of its own success seeing the large number of applications that have been submitted to our fund management office during the years under review,” she said.
GPTF is a mechanism to ensure that revenue realised from the sale of wildlife products is used for wildlife conservation, communal conservation and rural development programmes aimed at harmonising the co-existence of human and wildlife, and thus securing a future for wildlife outside of and within protected areas in Namibia. The fund is mandated to capture revenue from the sale of trophy hunting concessions; the removal of problem animals; head levies on the live export animals and live auction of game or wildlife.
The fund received over N$29 million from its traditional sources of funding during the period April 2016-February 2018.
The trophy hunting concessions were received from existing hunting concessions valued at N$16.7 million and the sale of hunts at the Dallas Safari Club Convention in the United States of America with a total value of N$8.3 million.
The trophy hunting concessions has been important sources of income for the GPTF, with close 90 percent of the income coming from trophy hunting concessions between 2016 and 2018.