NAMIBIA: Wildlife worth Billions

NAMIBIA’S wildlife is worth an estimated N$10,5 billion, a scientific survey has revealed.
Presenting their findings on Tuesday at an event organised by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, experts Olimpio Nhuleipo and Peter Muteyauli said the wildlife figures they used in their calculations date back to 2004.

“We used the integrated environmental and economic accounting (IEEA) system of the UN,” said Nhuleipo, an environmental economist at the Ministry. “Wildlife stocks represent a significant national asset, comparable with assets like minerals, fish and forests. About two million larger animals live in Namibia and the direct economic benefit recently through photo tourism, trophy hunting, game meat and leather products among others came to N$700 million, representing about 2,1 per cent of the annual Gross National Product. “This compares well with the 4,6 per cent contribution of agriculture or 5 per cent of the fishing sector to GNP,” said Peter Muteyauli, who also works in the Ministry’s environmental economics unit.Most of the wild animals – about 88 per cent – live on private land such as commercial farms and private game reserves.

Nhuleipo and Muteyauli concluded that investing in wildlife and related tourism activities, and commercialising game meat would increase the economic contribution of this sector.The full report ‘Wildlife Accounts For Namibia 2004’ is available online at http://www.met.gov.na/.
BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

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