Namibia: New Timber Harvesting Activities Will Remain Prohibited - Ministry

The Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism with immediate effect will issue transport permits for already harvested timber destined for the local market, an official announced Thursday.

The Minister of Environment Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta at a media briefing Thursday said no export permits will be issued for unprocessed or semi-processed timber.

"This is to ensure full compliance with Regulation 12 (3) of the regulations of the Forest Act, 2001 (Act No. 12 of 2001), which prohibits the export of forest produce unless authorized by the Director of Forestry for special purposes such as research, education, cultural or disease identification," he added.

Shifeta further said that new timber harvesting activities are still not permitted and timber and timber products, being transported without the required permit, will be confiscated and culprits will be arrested and charged in accordance with the law.

"At this stage, we want to focus on monitoring and facilitating the utilization of already harvested timber in the country," he said, adding that until they are satisfied that harvested timber is dealt with in accordance with the relevant laws and the said regulations, new timber harvesting activities will remain prohibited.

According to Shifeta, the above conditions are aimed at promoting the sustainable utilization of timber and forest resources as well as stimulating lasting and sustainable economic growth and employment creation in the country.

"We believe that through value addition, we will be able to promote the local timber industry and enhance its growth to contribute to lasting economic growth and development," he said.

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