There is an urgent need for the Government to reform the Forestry timber utilization Act to protect land owners victimized by Foreign logging companies.
This was the response of Lemeus Manavakana, a land-owning group representative of Choiseul province to the Forestry Undersecretary.
Mr. Manavakana says it is not enough that the Forestry ministry’s only role is to facilitate the entry of these logging companies for the country’s economic gain.
“We’re worried about money rather than our people. These people are only interested in harvesting our people’s resources and took off with them. This is not fair enough especially with the Government being the beneficiary at the end of the day.”
Mr. Lemeus says people do not have other avenues provided by the Government to deal with these logging issues except the Courts.
He explains, that is one reason why landowners sometimes take matters into their own hands.
“Our people have nowhere to go for help and assistance so they resorted to destroying the logger’s resources by burning down their machines to stop their operations. After that, you know what, those who were already victims of the logging activities would again be arrested by the Police and ended up in court, another problem for landowners.”