MOFR refutes log export figures by Global Witness

Logs ready for export at the Kolobangara Forestry Products Limited, Western province.

The Ministry of Forestry and Research has described 2017 log export figures revealed by an international NGO report as “incorrect”.

International non-government organisation, Global Witness reported last week that Solomon Islands has exported more than three million cubic metres of logs.

But in his response, Permanent Secretary Vaeno Vigulu says Solomon Islands has never exported such a number at anytime.

“According to our records we only exported 2.6 million cubic metres in 2017 and 2.69 cubic metres in 2016. These are the two peak periods in the history of Solomon Islands timber industry where we exported the max.

“I would say the peak and we have never exported above 3 million cubic metres of wood and I can confirm that the statement is wrong”.

The report also stated that there could be hugely unsustainable rates of logging and the high risk of illegal practices on the once pristine paradise of Solomon Islands, putting China’s reputation as a global trading partner at risk.

But Mr Vigulu says only legal operators are currently operating in the Solomon Islands as opposed to what the report stated.

“I don’t think there is illegal logging in Solomon Islands, all logging operations that have been in operation or are currently in operation are legal operations I would say.

“They operate under legal felling licenses that are issued by the Ministry and actually came out from timber right hearings that the executives of the eight provincial governments have actually set and approved, so I don’t think there are illegal operations occurring in Solomon Islands”.

By: Rickson Bau 

 

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