Rundu — Forestry officials in Kavango West have seized about 4 000 planks from illegal timber harvesters at some recently allocated farms with no government leaseholds in the Katji-na-Katji area.
A forestry patrol team discovered the illegal operation deep in the forest where planks and a timber cutting machine was confiscated.
Two suspects were apprehended.
“The ministry is requesting the public to provide information about suspected illegal timber activities,” said the ministry’s chief forester for the two Kavango regions, John Niipale, who confirmed the incident.
“Those who intend to venture in these illegal operations are warned that the ministry will use the existing legal instruments and legislation to dealing with those contravening laws (Forest Act No 12 of 2001, Environmental Management Act No 7 of 2007 and Criminal Procedures Act respectively,” Niipale noted. “Our staff members are still counting the timber planks to know the exact number,” he said.
The public are reminded that there is still an active moratorium on timber activities which also prohibits any harvesting of timber anywhere in Namibia. Forests in the two Kavango regions suffer from continuous illegal tree harvesting, and perpetrators are always just fined and their timber confiscated, but they continue again.