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‘Environment and tourism a priority’

Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.The Ministry of Environment and Tourism received N$572 million for the 2012/2013 financial year. Of this amount, N$59 million will be spend on the upgrading of roads, development of community-based tourism lodges and the development of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR)’s facilities.
The wildlife management project will receive N$51 million, while the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management (NACOMA) Project will receive N$1.5 million. Conservation measures and community-based natural resource management activities will receive N$151 million.
The environment and tourism sector received priority under the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) during the 2011/2012 financial year, says Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Minister of Finance.
“In this sector, increased marketing was undertaken to increase the number of tourists from existing core and secondary markets as a result of expanded activities of Namibia Tourism Board (NTB). It is estimated that the tourism sector generated net foreign revenue in the order of US$323 million. Five additional community-based conservancies were established [during the 2011/2012 financial year], facilitating access to tourism resources for communities in the rural areas. The National Policy on Climate Change was launched with its accompanying Strategy and Action Plan which provide for targeted actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
According to the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, her ministry managed to carry out several projects during the previous financial year, including a national elephant survey throughout the country.
The survey was conducted with the objective of obtaining the national elephant population estimates. There are an estimated 20,500 elephants, the survey indicated.
“The ministry has translocated game to 35 farms/beneficiaries through the Wildlife Breeding Stock Loan Scheme. More than 600 heads of game was translocated mainly from Etosha National Park and Waterberg Plateau Park. The White Rhino Management Plan was also approved by the Policy Development and Research Committee of the Ministry. The plan provides for adaptive management of the species on state protected areas, namely Etosha National Park and Waterberg Plateau Park. Its successful implementation will facilitate growth in the numbers of the species,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said at her ministry’s annual general meeting recently.
The ministry also carried out tests against the Foot and Mouth Disease among disease-free buffalo in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy. A disease research programme for Food and Mouth was also launched in the Etosha National Park. The main objective of the programme is to understand the status of Foot and Mouth Disease in the Park.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism also initiated the development of the tourism growth and development strategy and the Tourism Investment Promotion Strategy, during the 2011/2012 financial year.
“I have to recognise with great satisfaction the progress we made in the execution of our capital projects. Most capital projects have been completed or will be completed soon. A number of new office buildings and staff accommodation have been completed. Tourist roads in the protected areas have been upgraded. Upgrading and maintenance of fences in protected areas have progressed according to plan. Provisions of water for animals have been improved. The current expenditure rate is about 70% and is expected to overtake the 90% mark at the end of the financial year,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
The Ministry of Environment received N$791 million, with close to N$436 million spent on the development of the tourism sector. About N$266 million went to Namibia Wild Life Resort (NWR), while the Namibia Tourism Board received N$70 million.

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