Unprocessed timber destined for South Africa confiscated
The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) recently held 1500 planks of unprocessed timber in Windhoek intended for export to South Africa, an official said Wednesday.
The timber was confiscated and the transport permit was temporarily suspended pending further investigations to establish where the timber came from and if it was legally acquired during the weekend of 08 to 10 April, MEFT spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda said in a statement.
According to Muyunda in 2018 Namibia introduced a moratorium on timber harvesting, transportation, marketing and exporting, which has led to a major reduction in deforestation and illegal timber harvesting.
“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 and procedures or risk being caught and face the full wrath of the law,” he added.
Muyunda said stakeholders are required to follow 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 has 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 concluded.