…to mitigate pandemic effects on environment and conservation

Staff Writer

The German Federal Government has availed approximately N$250 million to support the Namibian Government, through the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the conservation and tourism sector.

This comes as the conservation and tourism sector has been significantly affected by the loss of income from tourism, caused by worldwide lockdown measures and international travel restrictions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countrywide employment and vital conservation activities are in jeopardy, risking the survival of local communities, wildlife and protected areas.

The funds to mitigate the economic losses will be provided through the KfW Development Bank to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism through its Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility.

The Poverty Oriented Support to Human Wildlife Conflict Management Project implemented by the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCFN) shall benefit from N$95 million in funding.

“The aim is to support communal conservancies and the local tourism sector during these challenging times. Funds will be used to secure ongoing employment of game guards and local people working for conservancies and conservancy tourism business as well as to support implementation of human wildlife conflict mitigation and prevention measures.”

More than N$76 million of the funds will support measures aiding national parks and protected areas, to minimize detrimental ecological and economic impacts of COVID-19.

“These measures are to be implemented through the existing NamParks V Project. Funds are meant to ensure the continuation of anti-poaching and wildlife crime prevention measures and to continue ongoing patrols and implementation of park regulations.”

Another N$76 million will be directed to benefit the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) similarly impacted by the pandemic.