Mmegi Online :: Govít freezes environ filming permits
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Last Updated
Friday 22 March 2019, 13:01 pm.
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Govít freezes environ filming permits

The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT) has frozen the issuing of environmental research, filming, photography permits in the countryís protected and wilderness areas with immediate effect.
By Staff Writer Fri 18 Aug 2017, 15:42 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Govít freezes environ filming permits








The suspension, which also applies to renewal of any existing or expired permits, has been effected to clean up the industry of unscrupulous activities while also trying to involve more Batswana in the independent research projects and films industry.

Environment, Natural Resources Conservation minister, Tshekedi Khama told BusinessWeek that the ban will not affect ordinary individual tourists from taking pictures but would affect only those that are doing it for commercial purposes.

“The suspension has been prompted by ongoing concerns regarding the conduct of environmental research, filming and photography in Botswana’s protected and other wilderness areas; specifically that Batswana are not involved in independent research projects or films.

“Researchers and film-makers do not account for their movements and there is lack of compliance with statutory requirements to deposit research outputs and filming products,” reads a statement from the ministry. According to the statement, researchers and filmmakers are also

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not submitting progress reports at all or they arrive late. Tshekedi said there are currently 144 environmental research and 56 film permit holders. The wilderness and wildlife of Botswana are well documented in award-winning documentaries, which have been broadcast on some of the prominent environmental television channels.

“There is lack of adherence to proper animal care and welfare protocols in particular concerning the fitting of tracking devices like collars.

“There are isolated cases of gross misconduct where some researchers or film-makers willfully engage in unauthorised activities,” added the statement.

As a result, the ministry said it has made an undertaking to review the existing standard conditions and procedures for conducting environmental research, filming and photography in Botswana.

Khama said the ministry will in due course convene a consultative forum to present a way forward and provide an opportunity for comments, views, recommendations and any other representations.

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