Funding for conservation, tourismGermany mobilised additional resources of €15.3 million (about N$256 million) to support the Namibian government, through the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, to mitigate the challenges of Covid-19 in the conservation and tourism sector.
This sector has been significantly affected by the loss of income from tourism during the pandemic. Although local and international tourism seems to be recovering, substantial financial gaps in the sector remain and continue to impact on 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 through its Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility (CRRRF). This is in addition to €13 million (N$250 million), which was committed in 2020 and successfully implemented to mitigate the impact of Covid-19:
Financial wage relief saved the jobs of 2 339 local employees from tourism enterprises while 176 local tailors benefitted from orders to produce 216 000 face masks for the communities of 86 conservancies.
Significant support to the ministry’s vehicle fleet was financed to ensure ongoing patrols for wildlife protection and maintenance of park infrastructure.
An additional €9 million (approximately N$150 million) will be channelled through to the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCFN). The aim is to support communal conservancies and the local tourism sector by securing the ongoing employment of game guards as well as employing locals for 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.
An additional €6.3 million (N$106 million) is envisaged for measures aiding national parks and protected areas to minimise detrimental ecological and economic impacts of Covid-19. These measures are to be implemented through the existing NamParks V project. Funds are aimed at ensuring the continuation of anti-poaching and wildlife crime prevention measures and to continue ongoing patrols and the implementation of park regulations.
The recent cases of rhino poaching underline the great importance of the funds to prevent wildlife crime.