NAMIBIAN wood processing factories stand to benefit substantially from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s decision to lift the moratorium on the transportation of timber from and through the country.
According to a statement released by Percy Misika, the Executive Director of the MAWF, the export of raw timber will no longer be allowed. Only wood processed to the point where the next step would be to start shaping and working it would be allowed to leave the country’s shores
In the statement Misika said the lifting of the moratorium on the transport of timber follows a stringent consultation process with various stakeholders.
The moratorium which took effect in April was triggered by an increase in illegal timber harvesting activities in the Kavango East and West regions as well as the Zambezi region as well as the illegal export of such logs.
“It was observed that the provisions of the Environmental Management Act were not adequately taken into consideration when the authorization was initially issued by the agriculture ministry. Only after thorough consultation with different stakeholders it was agreed to authorize the timber that was already harvested in the regions to be transported to wood processing factories in the country,” Misika said.
According to Misiska it was agreed that operations on timber transportation will only be allowed under certain stringent conditions.
The stipulated conditions are that no harvesting of fresh trees would be allowed and all logs that have been cut before the moratorium took effect in April must be loaded in the presence of MAWF or Ministry of Environment and Tourism officials.
Such officials may be supported at all times by members of the different law enforcement agencies. Forestry officials will have the right to inspect any wood processing factory to obtain any required information from such an institution.
Only processed timber to the final stage of use before export under the export license issued by forestry officials will be allowed to exported
Timber originating in other countries may be allowed to be processed in Namibia or may allowed to be transported through Namibia but only under the close supervision of forestry or other officials from a relevant authority like customs or the MET.
Misika encouraged people that may have questions to direct their inquiries about the matter to contact Jospeh Hailwa, the Director of Forestry at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.