German Government continues to support nature conservation and communities during COVID-19
(from left to right)Theofilus Nghitila (Executive Director, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism), Hon. Obeth Kandjoze, (Director General of National Planning Commission) and Dr. Thomas Dove (KfW Office Windhoek), © German Embassy, Windhoek
The German Federal Government mobilized additional resources of EUR 15.3 million (appr. 256 million NAD) to support the Namibian Government, through the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, in mitigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the conservation and tourism sector.
The conservation and tourism sector has been significantly affected by the loss of income from tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although local and international tourism seems to recover during the last months, substantial financial gaps in the sector remain and deteriorate countrywide employment, vital conservation activities and the survival of local communities, wildlife, and protected areas.
The funds to mitigate the economic losses will be provided through the KfW Development Bank to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism through its Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility (CRRRF). They come in addition to EUR 13 million (appr. 250 million NAD), which were committed in 2020 and successfully implemented to mitigate negative impacts of COVID-19:
Financial wage relief saved the jobs of 2339 local employees from tourism enterprises during times of need and 176 local tailors benefitted from orders to produce 216,000 face masks for the communities of 86 conservancies. Significant support to the vehicle fleet of MEFT was financed to ensure ongoing patrols for wildlife protection and maintenance of park infrastructure.
Additional EUR 9 million (appr. 150 million NAD) shall be channeled through to the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCFN). The aim is to support communal conservancies and the local tourism sector with securing ongoing employment of game guards, local people working for the conservancies and conservancy tourism businesses. Furthermore, the resilience of communal conservancies will be strengthened through supporting the implementation of human-wildlife-conflict mitigation and prevention measures.
Additional EUR 6.3 million (appr. 106 million NAD) are envisaged for measures aiding National Parks and protected areas to minimize detrimental ecological and economic impacts of COVID-19. These measures are to be implemented through the existing NamParks V project. Funds are meant to ensure the continuation of anti-poaching and wildlife crime prevention measures and to continue ongoing patrols and implementation of park regulations. The recent cases of rhino poaching underline the great importance of the funds to prevent wildlife crime