By: Rodney Pienaar
The ministry of tourism has announced that the 1st of May will mark the first day of Hunting Season in which people will be allowed to hunt for specific species of game in registered conservancies and commercial farms.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Information minister, Stanley Simataa said the season will close on the 31st of August for registered conservancies.
“The hunting season was approved in terms of section 25 of the Nature Conservation Ordinance 1975, Ordinance No.4 of 1975 as amended for huntable game as described in Annex A and mentioned in Scheduled 5 to the said ordinance which may be hunted by virtue of a permit granted under section 30 of the ordinance,” Simataa said.
Meanwhile, the ministry of tourism has asked for conservancy managers to allocate 50% of their income from tourism concessions and hunting activities to community development projects.
Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta said his office has received numerous complaints from community members citing a lack of benefits from tourism and hunting activities.
“As the minister responsible for these sectors, I am deeply concerned by those regular complaints, as the main objectives of awarding concessions are to facilitate rural development, employment-creation and local, national economic growth for the benefits of community members, and not a few individuals,” Shifeta said.
The government introduced the conservancy concept in 1998 to allow communities to manage natural resources, protect areas and wild animals sustainably, while raising income for rural people.
Namibia now has up to 83 conservancies which accommodate close to 200 000 people.
But there have always been concerns that community members are being cheated out of the income derived from conservancies.