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JUBA CITY - 26 Sep 2023

Parliament adopts Tourism Policy 2023

Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism Rizik Zachariah. (File photo)
Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism Rizik Zachariah. (File photo)

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) on Monday unanimously adopted the Tourism Policy 2023 after its presentation by the specialized committees on Wildlife Conversation and Tourism and Legislation and Justice.

The policy which consists of two chapters, mainly focuses on the governing of all matters related to wildlife conservation, management of protected areas, and suitable management and conservation of natural heritage and wildlife resources.

It also includes various working strategies such as Tourism and Environmental Conservation, Culture and Tourism, and Human Resource Development among others.

Speaking after the presentation of the policy on Monday during a parliamentary session, Rizik Zachariah, the minister of wildlife conservation and tourism, said the policy can help in the management of the tourist areas.

“We cannot manage conservation with a lot of arms in the hands of the population. We need massive joining of hands because tourism is a cross-cutting issue” he said. “We are reflecting on the exposers of the welfare of the country. Which means it needs a lot of joining of hands and contributions from everyone here in the country.”

For her part, Sofia Pal, an SPLM legislator from Nasir County in Upper Nile State, commended the minister of wildlife for developing the policy and emphasized the need to provide security for wildlife.

“I want to say that during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) since 2005, there have been ministers who were there and they also did their part,” she said. “I remember there was a time Changson (Chang) was doing mapping and he was marking the animals. I think that is one way of keeping South Sudanese animals safe.”

Meanwhile, Majok Dut, a parliamentarian from Tonj East County in Warrap State, doubted if the policy would be implemented. He said there are crossing-cutting policies such as the Physical Planning and Environment Bills that are yet to be implemented.  

“While the bill is clear and complete, they (ministry of wildlife) are going to face challenges,” he said. “There are crosscutting laws that are outstanding and are not looked at as important like the land policy and the Physical Planning Bill.”

The lawmaker said the wildlife policy cannot exist without the outstanding laws being implemented. He further called on the ministry and the committee for wildlife to push for the implementation of the pending laws.