• September 18th, 2020

Ministry to issue transport permits for harvested timber

Forestry minister Pohamba Shifeta has announced the ministry will, with immediate effect, issue transport permits for already-harvested timber destined for the local market. 

He made the announcement yesterday when he informed the public on conditions regarding the harvesting and transport of timber resources as well as personnel changes to the executive management of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. 
“We call upon possible investors to take up opportunities in wood processing to feed the local market. I am further directing and calling on those with existing arrangements to export timber to first ensure that this timber is processed. Otherwise, an export permit will not be issued. The Ministry further wishes to encourage Namibian timber processors to buy locally-produced timber as opposed to importing timber from other countries to grow our industry and to create jobs and economic opportunities for the country,” he maintained. 

He said forestry officials are in place to monitor activities such as timber harvesting and transportation with support from the Namibian police. All timber to be transported must be loaded in trucks in the presence of ministry officials. 
He warned timber and such products, being transported without the required permit, will be confiscated and culprits arrested and charged in accordance with the law. 

Over the past few years, the public has expressed genuine concerns with regard to the harvesting and utilisation of the hardwood timber resources. 
Shifeta said the ministry has emphasised the need for all timber harvesting activities to be undertaken in compliance with existing legislative requirements, in particular the Environmental Management Act, 2007 (Act No. 7 of 2007) and the Forest Act, 2001 (Act No. 12 of 2001) with the respective regulations of these Acts. 

As a result, he clarified, the environmental commissioner has not issued any environmental clearance certificates for the harvesting of timber.  
“In a similar vein, the Directorate of Forestry earlier this year halted the issuance of transport and timber harvesting licenses. The main reason for these interventions has been to ensure that these timber resources, which are scarce and so precious to Namibia, are utilised on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all the Namibians – both present and future,” Shifeta indicated. He also announced and clarified that no export permits will be issued for unprocessed or semi-processed timber. This is to ensure full compliance with Regulation 12 (3) of the regulations of the Forest Act, 2001 (Act No. 12 of 2001), which prohibits the export of forest produce unless authorised by the Director of Forestry for special purposes such as research, education, cultural or disease identification. – anakale@nepc.com.na

Albertina Nakale
2020-08-07 09:02:00 | 1 months ago

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