Changing attitudes to logging practices and a call for down streaming processing of timber.
An article in today’s Solomon Star newspaper claimed the Guadalcanal province through its newly launched strategy policy is looking to reduce logging activities in the province and monitor and strengthened the management of forest and natural resources for sustainable harvest and future preservation.
The strategic policy was outlined last Friday by Premier Francis Sade who remarked that many aspects of development were now worrying for his government.
Quoting the published article, it said:
“We are becoming conscious about our resources particularly the forestry sector.
“This include the environment, conservation, climate change, disaster management and managing of the province natural resources.
“Guadalcanal is the only province breaking the record of harvesting the forest above 400 meters beyond the jurisdiction of the forestry act.
“For this reason the policy is looking at reducing the logging activities and focuses on conservation and reforestations,” said Mr Sade. “
“The strategy’s policy objectives monitor and strengthened the management of forest and natural resources for sustainable harvest and future preservation are;-
- to temporary suspend all logging activities and do an environmental impact assessment
- to control and minimize logging activities through allocation of license quotas annually
- to establish a forestry and environment trust fund to support forest development programs
- to review logging licenses with additional potential areas of revenue
- to encourage and support forest resource owners to venture into downstream and processing timber milling
- to coordinate market for forest resource owners through collaboration with the Guadalcanal Investment company Limited (GICL)
- To develop forestry conservation park model to encourage preservation and sustainable use of forestry resources.”
- To establish a development partnership with SIG, development partners and stakeholders.”
In separate developments, Papua New Guinea’s new Prime Minister, James Marape, is understood to have visited Manus last Wednesday and talked with people in the local logging business about processing timber in the country.
Prior to the visit, PM Marape had said it was time to process timber in the country.
In late July this year, the PM had said he wanted the country to become an exporter of finished products, as opposed to the trend of exporting raw materials.
In one press release I saw, he had said, quote:
“Regardless of the sector, all businesses must now get accustomed to down-stream processing to maximise benefits from export earnings.”
"If you are producing gold, you must get into the mindset of refining our gold in the country. If you a producing timber and others you must get used to the fact that this leadership with have an emphasis on down-stream processing."
The Solomon Islands Government announced proposals to encourage down-streaming but I am not aware to what extent such plans have been realized apart, that is, of knowing of a veneer processing factory at Lunga.