The five re-appointed board members include the chairperson, Louisa Mupetami, vice-chairperson Chris Classen and three ordinary members, Albertina Musilika-Shilongo, Likukela Bennety Busihu and Asser Ujaha.
The minister reappointed the team based on their previous performance and the achievements of the trust.
“Even though there is still a lot of work to be done the board has made good progress to ensure that land is shared sustainably by promoting the harmonious coexistence of humans and wildlife. Looking back at the year 2012, when this board was appointed, notable strides have been made not only to ensure that the fund’s mandate is met, [but also] that rural livelihoods are improved whilst promoting the management of biodiversity to ensure sustainability”, said Shifeta.
Out of the total N$64,9 million for projects that were approved for funding for the period of 2012 to 2015, the board managed to disburse N$50,43 million to applicants who benefitted in terms of livelihood improvement as they depend directly on the environment for their survival.
According to the June 2015 fund performance report, the investment of over N$50 million in the local economy, though negligible, has contributed to the creation of employment opportunities in the secondary sectors.
The fund has funded various projects that required some form of construction work to be done and this has had some positive economic spinoffs by creating temporary employment for local people, the report states.
In order to ensure that the board is headed in the right direction, a decision was taken by the board to develop a Strategic Plan that will guide the fund’s operations. A consultant developed the Game Products Trust Fund Strategic plan for the period 2014 to 2017 which is currently review and and edited before it is formally adopted for implementation.
As part of the fund’s institutionalisation, it has developed a corporate identity and established local tourist centres which local communities use as base camps to invite partnerships from investors in tourism.
The fund has assisted several communities to construct water points for game, to help protect the wildlife on their land, and to prevent poaching through various law enforcement techniques.