Namibian ministries lack coordination in mining sector: sub-committee

WINDHOEK, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- A National Assembly sub-committee on natural resources has warned there is a lack of coordination between the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism and the Ministry of Mines and Energy concerning the issuance of exploration mining licences.

The four-member sub-committee, after visiting the Kunene region which has 38 conservancies with elephants, kudus and several other animal species, from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4, said in a statement dated Monday that the lack of coordination comes when the two ministries issue licences to miners working in restricted animal areas.

The sub-committee said, on the one hand, the Environment Ministry grants mining companies environmental clearance certificates according to Section 5 of the Environmental Management Act No. 7 of 2007. The Mines Ministry, on the other hand, grants mining companies exclusive prospective licences, mining licences and various other permits without consulting the environment ministry.

The sub-committee noted that poaching, especially of rhinoceros and elephants, prevalent in most conservancies, is adversely affecting the ability of these conservancies to manage their operations and generate income.

The impact of COVID-19 has drastically affected the revenue generation for conservancies, while others face the prospect of retrenching their workers, it added.

It further noted that another issue is the financial mismanagement of conservancy money by some members, which has affected community members' benefits from utilizing their resources. And some management companies entering into joint ventures with conservancies to run lodges and other tourism activities benefited the most.

Namibia has become a top mining destination following huge discoveries in lithium, rare earth metals, oil and uranium.

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