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Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism allocated NAD21.9 million (USD 1.75 million) of its 2018/19 budget to tourism development and gaming regulations, placing increasing focus on wildlife crime and tourism development.
Pohamba Shifeta, minister, environment and tourism, Namibia, revealed the decision before the country’s National Assembly.
The ministry was allocated NAD402 million (USD32.15 million) for this financial year and pledged to dedicate a percentage of this to continued efforts to combat wildlife crime.
Shifeta noted 32 rhinos had been poached in 2017, down from 61 in 2016, along with a similar drop in elephant poaching.
He added, “Although there is decline in poaching of rhinos and elephants, the government will continue to fund efforts aimed at reducing poaching levels to insignificant levels to protect the country’s national heritage.”
He said he intended the ministry’s attention to be on creating long-term sustainability, good governance and proper management of community-based natural resources management programmes for the benefit of all people.
Two major pieces of legislation, Nature Conservation Ordinance of 1975 and Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act of 2008, were also amended to allow for harsher penalties for crimes related to wildlife and wildlife products.