Honiara : 24 May 2017
Letter to the Editor, Solomon Star and Island Sun Newspapers.
The recent report released by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) for 2016-2017 indicated that the logging industry is now at risk as the country’s forests are being cleared at an alarming rate.
The report revealed that the extraction of natural logs increased further in 2016 with exported log volumes rising by 17.4 percent year-on-year to 2.292 million cubic metres.
The report stated that the growth was attributed to re-entry into previous logged areas, clear felling for large projects such as bauxite mining, and increases in volumes of plantation logs.
Speaking to the media earlier this year, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forest and Research Mr Vaeno Vigulu said the country’s forest resource is currently harvested at an unsustainable level, posing a possible decline on the country’s revenue in the future.
He stressed that the huge decline of forest resources will force resource owners to look at other alternatives to generate income to support their livelihoods and meet the increasing cost of school fees, medical fees, transportation and family basic needs.
“This will pose a huge threat to our forest resources because such situation will provide loop holes giving way for sustainable harvesting of forest resources,” Mr Vigulu explained.
The Commissioner of Forest, Mr Reeves Moveni also shared similar sentiments.
While commercial logging has been good for the Solomon’s economy the writing on the wall has been obvious for several years that the country was increasingly at risk of losing its forest reserves by unsustainable logging practices.
Is anybody listening?