13 April 2005

Namibia: Forestry Policy, Legislation Should Be Strengthened

Rundu — HEAD of the Forestry Directorate here Jonas Mwiikinghi says there is a need for combined efforts to educate and enforce the laws and regulations pertaining to the implementation of sustainable utilization of forestry resources.

Mwiikinghi, who addressed the heads of both the private and public sectors in Rundu yesterday, noted that his directorate would continue carrying out roadblocks and patrols in the region to combat illegal transportation and harvesting of wood especially for commercial purposes.

The official said the directorate will be engaged in issuing permits and inspecting the harvesting permits issued for verification of whether the harvesting is done correctly.

He assured the audience that the forestry officials in the region would promote coordination and communication in places at different levels as well as participate in the commemoration of national days such as World Habitat Day, Arbor Day and agricultural shows.

Mwiikinghi urged regional councillors, heads of line ministries to spearhead the programme of disseminating information on forestry related issues, adding that such information can be provided by the directorate through brochures, leaflets and quarterly news letters, as well as radio programmes.

On the community based forest management, Mwii-kinghi said strategic objectives seek to enable the environment to fall under equitable community-based forest management and utilization.

He explained that the directorate is engaged in the establishment of community forests, adding that forest management bodies should be established and at least 25 per cent of each Forest Management Committee should be women.

Meanwhile, the chief executive officer for the Kavango Regional Council Sebastian Kantema echoed Mwiikinghi, saying that only through joint efforts the region could prevent the destruction of forest even by veld fires.

Kantema maintained that the region is vast and therefore called on each and every resident to contribute towards the protection of the forest for future generations.

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