As per meeting with MET officials, chaired by the Depuuty Permanent Secretary, Ms Louisa Mupetami, on Monday, 12 March, the following matters were discussed:
A. Commercial Conservancies
As from the beginning of February NAPHA members started to contact the office requesting an explanation on why MET apparently decided to no longer honor the Commercial / Freehold Conservancy status and was verbally requesting all farm owners / hunting outfits to register with MET in their individual capacity. Up to this point (up until today) NAPHA had (has) not received a formal communication from MET on this matter.
NAPHA and CANAM realizing the immediate urgency of the matter and its extremely short timeline, joined forces and CANAM hand delivered a formal letter to the PS of MET, Dr Lindeque, including relevant information on the background of these Conservancies, their history and details of the huge impact a change in status would possibly have.
Receipt of this letter was acknowledged and it was stated that this matter ‘is looked into’.
CANAM followed-up on their letter but did not receive a reply.
NAPHA then requested an official meeting with MET and was referred to the Deputy PS, Ms Louisa Mupetami, who confirmed a meeting with MET Directors and officials for Monday, 12 March.
During this meeting, attended by both NAPHA and CANAM representatives, no satisfactory answers could be obtained, other than that MET is still considering this matter.
On Tuesday, 13 March NAPHA, therefore, obtained input from relevant industry stakeholders and drafted a letter addressing the Honorable Minister Pohamba Shifeta. CANAM followed suit and also delivered a letter to the Minister addressing the utmost urgency of this matter.
In this letter we made it clear that NAPHA cannot abide by the imposed changes as these are not enforceable within the timeframe provided. Furthermore, we have requested full consultation and dialogue with the Minister and stakeholders to discuss the reasons behind such decision and to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to explain implications and impact of such decision.
NAPHA has followed up with the office of the Minister and was informed that the matter is still discussed within the Ministry. We await a reply and will share this you upon receipt.
Both NAPHA and CANAM are acutely aware of the timeline and we are trying our utmost to find an amicable solution in the shortest time possible.
In the meantime, we advise all members to register their outfits in their individual capacity nonetheless.
CANAM (Conservancies Association of Namibia) distributed the following to their membership yesterday [CANAM Feedback
B. Leopard Tags
The Director of Scientific Services assured us that Leopard Tags may only be utilized by the person that was allocated a tag or his/her direct employee(s).
Tags may neither be sold nor transferred to a third party.
Leopard tags may only be applied for by an owner or lessee of a farm or an outfitting business registered with the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET).
C. Examinations for Hunting Professionals
NAPHA enquired as to the release of results of PDN examinations of August 2017. We were requested to provide the Director of Parks & Wildlife with a list of student names, which was forwarded immediately after the meeting. We await his feedback.
We also asked for the Hunting Examination Dates for 2018. These (including Bow Hunting) should be forthcoming – we will provide feedback as soon as dates have been received.
D. Age-Related Trophy Measuring System
A workshop discussing finer details of this system is currently in full swing.
Further details will be shared after completion of the workshop, which is attended by international delegates and Namibians alike.
E. Detailed personal information on trophy hunting permit applications
Addressing the issue of confidentiality of Information, when applying for permits, we were assured by MET officials that all client details are treated with confidentiality. In addition to a copy of the hunting clients passport, full address details and e-mail address are required to follow up on potential issues of fraud, theft or illegal shipments.
We were informed that the application form (MET) requires the full details but that the permit does not reflect the confidential information.