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Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism

Namibia has one of the few constitutions in the world with specific provisions aimed at safeguarding the environment. Furthermore, Namibia is one of the few countries that  has  linked  issues  of  environmental  protection  to  tourism  development.  The mission  of  the  Ministry  of  Environment, Forestry  and  Tourism  is  to  promote  biodiversity conservation  in  the  Namibian  environment  through  the  sustainable  utilisation  of natural  resources  and  tourism  development  for  the  maximum  social  and  economic benefit  of  its  citizens.  It’s  mandate  derived  from  the  Constitutional  provision  in Chapter  11:  Principles  of  State  Policy, Article  95:  Promotion  of  the  Welfare  of  the People  whereby  the  state  shall  actively  promote  and  maintain  the  welfare  of  the people by adopting, inter alia, polices aimed at the following:

“Maintenance  of  ecosystems,  essential  ecological  processes  and biological  diversity  of  Namibia  and  utilisation  of  living  natural resources  on  a  sustainable  basis  for  the  benefit  of  all  Namibians, both present and future; in particular, the Government shall provide measures against the dumping or recycling of foreign nuclear and toxic waste on Namibian territory”.

The Environmental Management Act

The Environmental Management Act, 2007 (Act No. 7 of 2007) was promulgated to promote the sustainable management of the environment and the use of natural resources by establishing principles for decision making on matters affecting the environment; to establish the Sustainable Development Advisory Council; to provide for the employment of the Environmental Commissioner and environmental officers; to provide for  process of assessment and control of activities which may have significant impacts on the environment and to provide for incidental matters.

Under the Act, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has published a list of activities, which may not be undertaken without an Environmental Clearance Certificate. This list includes mining and quarrying activities; hazardous substance treatment, handling and storage; and waste management, treatment, handling and disposal activities.