By Joe-Chintha Garises
WINDHOEK, Aug. 19. — The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism announced the appointment of Forestry Peace officers who were trained by Nampol.
The officers were trained in two different sessions, one in 2021 and the other in 2022 in Windhoek.
The at least 28 forest officials from all 14 regions of Namibia were trained on law enforcement and 23 completed the course and received certificates and identity cards.
“It is critical that we as a Ministry improve integration so that officials are able to prevent crime and enforce multiple laws to tackle challenges such as poaching, illegal timber harvesting, pollution and illegal trade in protected species,” Pohamba Shifeta the minister of MEFF said.
Shifeta said the ministry remains committed to ensuring the well-being of the citizens through the sustainable use of natural resources.
“We are committed to creating opportunities in all spheres of development; be it mining, climate resilient agriculture, timber harvesting, charcoal production, wildlife utilization, and value addition to the indigenous plants and natural resources.
“However, this must be done based on the principles of sustainability, application of science and regulated accordingly,” he said.
The minister added that key to building on these opportunities and tackling the challenges is to have a dedicated and well-trained workforce to prevent unsustainable and illegal resource use which further drives environmental degradation and the disenfranchisement of our people.
He encouraged members of the public and stakeholders each have a role to play in conserving and protecting all the natural resources. The protection of the environment is one element of the broader sustainable development agenda which requires collaborative efforts.
Therefore, civil society organizations, OMAs, political parties, traditional authorities, private sector, faith based organizations, media, schools and farmers are called upon to assist with not only disseminating environmental information but acting for sustainable development within their respective communities and the broader public.
“To the Forest Officers who have received Certificates and ID Cards today, I would like to encourage you to go and make a difference. Let those offenders and criminals feel your presence and be deterred from committing crimes,” Shifeta added.