WINDHOEK- The Ministry of Environment and Tourism says it has noted with disappointment the allegations made in a video circulating on social media that government’s interventions on timber harvesting are aimed at jeopardising economic development in the Kavango East and West regions.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said the ministry categorically denies any intention to jeopardise development in the Kavango East and West regions.
The Namibian government banned the cutting and transportation of timber in November last year because of concerns that timber was being harvested without following the correct procedures, as well as broader concerns over damage to the environment caused by logging – mainly in the Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions.
Recent media reports pointed out that the government has received 231 applications from individuals who want to cut down 195 550 trees in north-eastern Namibia in five years.
The Namibian recently exposed that parliamentarians, government officials, councillors, police bosses, traditional leaders, and church leaders rank among 230 individuals who want to cut down around 200 000 rare trees in Kavango East.
It has been reported those set to benefit include Kavango East governor Samuel Mbambo, Rundu mayor Isak Kandingu, former Namibian ambassador to Austria Simon Maruta, Swapo member of parliament Sebastiaan Karupu, All People’s Party (APP) president Ignatius Shixwameni, and Kavango West’s Namibian Police crime investigations coordinator, deputy commissioner Rudolf Mbumba.
According to Muyunda, the interventions that the government has taken on timber harvesting are based on the need to ensure that the utilisation of living natural resources is done on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future, as per Article 95(L) of the Namibian Constitution.
Hence, he said it is their view that the growth of the economy is the key for ministry to meet Namibia’s developmental goals in each and every region.
However, he cautioned economic development and employment creation should not be used as excuses to violate the law and damage the environment.
He stated all-natural resources, in this case, valuable hardwood timber, can easily be depleted and should be utilised sustainably in accordance with Namibian laws, including the Environmental Management Act, 2007 (Act No. 7 of 2007).
“It is the considered view of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism that the interventions government has taken on timber harvesting will ultimately lead to the improved quality of life for the present and future generations in the affected regions. Our doors remain fully open all interested a d affected parties for consultations on this important matter,” he said.
2019-06-07 09:57:35 19 days ago