Timber harvesting stopped

All logging and trade in slow-growing hardwoods in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country must stop immediately.

28 November 2018 | Environment

The forestry directorate of the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry has officially ordered the suspension of the harvesting and trading in Namibia's timber.

The directorate on Monday issued a memorandum in which it instructed forestry officials to suspend all issued permits with immediate effect and to stop issuing new permits until further notice. The memorandum stated that the agriculture and environment ministries were discussing how to harmonise the regulation of timber harvesting. “Please inform the clients that all timber activities are put on hold, hence they must not harvest, transport, market or export any timber products (logs, blocks, planks) to avoid confiscating their timber,” the director of forestry, Joseph Hailwa, instructed. This comes after the shocking revelation by environment minister Pohamba Shifeta last Friday that all the timber harvesting permits issued in the last three years were illegal because they had not received the requisite environmental clearance.

Shifeta then called for all permits to be withdrawn and said his ministry wanted evidence of such withdrawal.

Cabinet recently noted with concern “limited compliance” by government offices, ministries and agencies in terms of obtaining environmental clearance before exploiting natural resources. It directed that all government offices submit environmental management plans to the environment ministry in compliance with the Environmental Management Act of 2007. Cabinet also directed the environment ministry, as well as the ministries of justice, safety and security, and urban and rural development to ensure that sand mining and extraction of other natural resources is done procedurally.

NGOs not convinced

The CEO of the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE), Dr Chris Brown, yesterday commended the suspension of the permits, but said his organisation would continue to request an independent, external investigation into the workings of the directorate of forestry in issuing the permits.

He said he would also direct the NCE's 62 non-governmental organisations in regions particularly affected by illegal logging, transport and trade of timber to monitor how the suspension directive is being implemented. Over the past 15 months the NCE has repeatedly requested a meeting with the forestry directorate and expressed grave concern over deforestation in the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions.

It also expressed concern over the apparent lack of action by the forestry directorate and agriculture ministry.

The NCE had offered its expertise and financial support garnered from the private sector to assist the forestry directorate in areas where it might not have sufficient capacity, but its attempts at an engagement with the directorate and ministry went unanswered, Brown said.

Similar News


Ministry opts for cheaper Etosha fence

1 day - 12 December 2018 | Environment

The environment ministry has started reviewing the design of a predator- and elephant-proof fence around Etosha National Park to reduce the cost of construction. ...

Illegal sand mining continues

1 week ago - 06 December 2018 | Environment

Many young men are making a living at Rundu by charging as little as N$50 to fill up a bakkie with sand.A number of young...

Year of environmental tipping points

1 week ago - 05 December 2018 | Environment

JANA-MARI SMITH The Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) says 2018 has led to significant shifts in awareness on a number of issues in Namibia, including...

Risky fuelling at sea condemned

1 week ago - 03 December 2018 | Environment

Red flags have been raised after the works and transport ministry gave the green light for a fuelling operation at sea which took place close...

Poachers will 'kill every single rhino'

1 week ago - 03 December 2018 | Environment

If rhino owners are not allowed to harvest and legally sell horns, poachers will kill every last rhino in Namibia. This is according to environment...

Tree harvesters up in arms

2 weeks ago - 29 November 2018 | Environment

Kavango East farmers, who have been affected by a recent directive halting all logging with immediate effect, have hit back by asking whether the government...

Shifeta cracks the whip

2 weeks ago - 29 November 2018 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says all invalid licences, permits or authorisations granted without an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) must be withdrawn by 1 December.Shifeta said...

Timber harvesting stopped

2 weeks ago - 28 November 2018 | Environment

The forestry directorate of the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry has officially ordered the suspension of the harvesting and trading in Namibia's timber. ...

Shifeta calls out NWR

2 weeks ago - 28 November 2018 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has given a directive that by the end of this year, the ministry must ensure that no illegal dumping sites exist...

War declared on plastic bags

2 weeks ago - 28 November 2018 | Environment

The environment ministry will step up efforts to enforce the ban on plastic bags in national parks in the coming months.Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has...

Latest News

Cops heavily in debt

10 hours ago | Police

The police chief, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, yesterday gave President Hage Geingob a frank overview of the tragic state of affairs in the force.According to him...

Iilonga hailed as steadfast, courageous

10 hours ago | People

Tributes are pouring in for struggle veteran Petrus Iilonga, who died on Tuesday evening at the age of 71.Iilonga was a former trade unionist and...

Another tough half-year for Nictus

10 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – The recession continued eroding the profit of Nictus Holdings in the first six months of its current financial year, but its impact...

Our big-spending defence ministry

10 hours ago | Columns

Recent calls by parliamentarians in the National Council to increase the defence budget make for interesting reading. Onesi constituency councillor Titus Kanyele recently suggested more...

At your fingertips

10 hours ago | Technology

Yolanda Nel - After a break-in at her home three years ago, an entrepreneur decided to develop an app that provides emergency contact numbers at...

B1 crash claims three

10 hours ago | Accidents

Three men died on the Okahandja-Otjiwarongo road yesterday morning when their vehicles collided after one of the cars had crashed into a cow standing in...

Namvet to play politics

10 hours ago | Politics

The Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) says it is considering entering the political fray by participating in the 2019 national elections after all attempts to...

Communities in dire need of...

10 hours ago | Disasters

Several areas have been identified as “hot spots” where communities are suffering from chronic water shortages and emergency water assistance is required. Agriculture...

Africa Briefs

10 hours ago | Economics

Tanzania to sign deal for power plantTanzania will sign a deal this week for the construction of a US$3 billion hydroelectric power plant, president John...

Load More