Over N$200 million allocated to protected areas and wildlife management

Over N$200 million allocated to protected areas and wildlife management
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The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has allocated over N$208 million to protected areas and wildlife management to combat poaching and human-wildlife conflict.
This was announced on Monday by Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta in the National Assembly when he motivated his ministry’s N$584 million allocations in the national budget for the 2020/21 financial year.
He said the over N$208 million will be used to address major challenges the ministry faces, such as the poaching of protected wild animals and human-wildlife conflict.
Shifeta said poaching of valued species such as rhino and elephants reduced significantly as 1 790 suspects were arrested between the end of 2018 and May 2020, and if more funds can be availed the numbers of arrests could increase.
“Arrested suspects doubled since the launch of the Anti-Poaching Unit in 2016. At this juncture, our appreciation goes to the joint operation between our security forces, the Namibian Defence Force, the Namibian Police Force Protected Resources Unit, Namibia Central Intelligence Services and the ministry’s Anti-Poaching Unit,” said Shifeta.
He added that the Anti-Poaching Unit is pursuing all wildlife crime syndicates in the country and said most syndicate members are known to them, although most are yet to be arrested.
“Our wildlife and national parks are the key engines for socio-economic development in Namibia’s rural areas. Considerable efforts were made in the 2019/20 financial year to maintain and upgrade the standards of infrastructure in our national parks, particularly road networks, fencing, water infrastructure among others,” said Shifeta.
He further added that the ministry has conducted a full count of wild horses and the population now stands at an estimated 75 horses at Garub Park. The herd consists of 37 stallions, 27 mares and 11 foals.