US government donates millions in equipment to MET

11 Feb 2019 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 11 FEB (NAMPA) – The United States of America (USA) government has donated equipment worth N.dollars 6.8 million to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) to be used for anti-poaching efforts.
The equipment to be given over a period of two years include four vehicles, GPS receivers, camping equipment and furniture for the Waterberg Anti-poaching Training Centre, poaching crime scene investigation equipment and binoculars.
Handing over 65 binoculars as part of the donation here on Monday, US Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson said the donation is funded through the US Foreign Military Financing Programme for Biodiversity.
Johnson emphasised that in Namibia, wildlife is an important cultural and economic asset contributing significantly to tourism and sustaining the livelihoods of thousands of Namibians.
“The US government investments support Namibia’s own efforts to protect its wildlife. Wildlife crime is a critical threat to economic development,” she said.
She noted that the US government has projects of more than N.dollars 300 million dedicated to conservation and combating wildlife crime in Namibia.
“The United States is committed to continue working closely with the Namibian government to stop poaching and wildlife trafficking,” said Johnson.
Accepting the donation, Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said wildlife crime, in particular poaching, is a global challenge which requires collaboration to find global solutions.
He noted that the equipment will be used to facilitate training programmes with a view to sharpen skills of officials dealing with anti-poaching.
“The ministry and other law enforcement agencies will not relent in fighting wildlife crime whenever it happens, hence the ministry has been working hard to recruit the requisite staff for the anti-poaching unit,” he said.