IN order to better service the increasing demand for environmental clearance certificates in a more efficient manner, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism launched a new online application system.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta officially launched the new online and said the system covers a range of developmental activities that are likely to have significant impacts on the environment such as mining, quarrying, infrastructural developments, removal of living natural resources and waste management among others.
The need to apply for environmental clearance is mandated in the Environmental Management Act, 2007 (Act No. 7 of 2007), Section 27 of which provides a list of activities that may not be Ministry will continues to receive increasing volumes of applications for environmental clearance.
A total of 853 applications were received in the 2018/19 financial year, representing a 30% increase on the applications that were received in 2017/18.
“In order to better service the increasing demand for environmental clearance certificates in a more efficient manner, the Ministry developed and is now implementing the online application system that has been demonstrated to you here,” Shifeta said.
Processing applications for environmental clearance certificates is one of the key functions of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism that is undertaken through the Office of the Environmental Commissioner. As one of the ten Offices / Ministries / Agencies that were identified in the E Government Strategic Action Plan for the Public Service to undergo E-Government transformation during 2014-2018, this is one of the key functions of the Ministry to go electronic.
The launch of the system is a significant contribution to implementing pillar 1 of the Harambee Prosperity Plan on effective governance and service delivery, which states the need to expedite the deployment of e-governance to cover all Ministries and public agencies by 2020.
Efficiency is also a key consideration. As a Ministry, we are extremely conscious of the need to act quickly and not to delay projects that are critical for the development of this country.
Shifeta lastly noted that he is confident that this system will assist the Office of the Environmental Commissioner to process applications more rapidly.