The Ministry of Environment and Tourism requested members of parliament to approve an amount of N$581 ,961 ,000 for the execution of their mandate for the financial year 2016/2017.
Despite funding of N$139,206,000 provided through the Economic Planning Commission which shows an increase of 5.54% over the previous allocation, the tourism Ministry has N$104, 924,000, (15%) as a decrease in its overall allocation.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta while tabling his budget motivation to members of parliament, thanked the Minister of Finance for allocating N$442,755,000 for the Operational Budget which is a decrease from the previous amount by 20% which amounts to N$112,630,000.
The Wildlife and protected area management programme has been allocated an amount of N$213,189,000 while the Tourism Development and Gaming programme has been allocated about N$81,485,000. The Planning, Coordination, Infrastructure Development, Maintenance, Monitoring and Evaluation programme received N$148,376,000.
“I would like to reiterate that the impacts from the above programmes of my Ministry cannot be over emphasized.”
“Tourism continues to be one of the pillars of our economy as it offers unlimited opportunities for development in many parts of the country, particularly where few other economic opportunities exist and therefore tourism is the right vehicle with a high potential to alleviate poverty,” the minister noted.
Shifeta added that the programmes will lead to continued growth in the tourism sector, increased revenues to the State, employment creation, community participation and the increase in ownership of tourism enterprises on communal lands, enhanced regulatory and planning framework, the better monitoring of tourism development, improved service delivery and development at regional and local level in support of the decentralization programme.
Over 320 environmental impact assessments and applications for environmental clearances for 145 mining claims were processed in 2015/16 financial year.
During the period under review, the ministry embarked on a region-by-region inspection programme and have sensitized regional and local stakeholders on their obligations regarding the Environmental Management Act and the management of waste in particular.
Currently Namibia holds the second largest population of rhinoceros in the world and the world largest population of black rhinoceros.
The country experienced unprecedented levels of rhinoceros poaching, about eighty six rhinoceros were poached in 2015 alone.