The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has announced the seizure last weekend of raw timber from a truck that was destined for South Africa.
The confiscation follows the ministry’s statement earlier this month that Namibia will only allow the export of processed timber products.
According to the chief public relations officer in the ministry, Romeo Muyunda ‘’1500 planks on the truck are held and the transport permit temporally suspended pending further investigations to establish where the timber came from and if it was legally acquired”.
Minister Pohamba Shifeta also warned Namibians not to over exploit natural resources, but use them sustainably and also added that Namibia does not export timber.
The minister said this at the launch of a three documentary series aimed at creating awareness on the negative impact of deforestation and exploitation of natural resources in Windhoek last week.
Muynuda further encouraged the public to report illegal activities to the appropriate authorities, as well as stakeholders in the timber business and those who intend to engage in illegal activities, to refrain from doing so.
“The Public is urged to be cautious and report any illegal timber activities to the Ministry and other relevant authorities such as the Namibian Police. We further warn those committing or intending to undertake illegal activities to refrain and follow set out laws an procedures or risk of being caught and face the full wrath of the law.
“Stakeholder in the timber sector are reminded that the Forest Act No 12 of 2001 and its regulations restrict the export of unprocessed forest produce, including semi-processed
planks. To ensure compliance of this provision of law, the Ministry had issued a directive to our regional and satellite offices that export permits will only be issued by the Director of
Forestry in Windhoek as per the provision of the Forestry Act,” he added.
The Ministry in 2018 introduced a moratorium on timber harvesting, transportation, marketing and exporting and according to Muyunda, this hasnled to a significant reduction in deforestation and timber harvesting.