Sawn timber. Photo credit: eshcolgroup.com

Sawn timber. Photo credit: eshcolgroup.com

An agreement has been signed by the Solomon Islands Sawn Timber Industry and New Zealand Imported Tropical Timber that signifies a step towards reducing illegal timber imports.

Pacific Periscope reports under the agreement, the Solomon Islands Timber Industry and the New Zealand organisation will collaborate on a number of initiatives to develop a system of third party legality assurance over the next two years.

The weekly newsletter says a new independent organisation will also be set up to audit sawn timber production to ensure that the source and legal production of timber can be demonstrated. This is seen as an important step towards sustainable forest management.

The sawn timber trade between the two countries over the past 10 years has been valued at around NZ$4-million New Zealand.

The members of the Solomon Islands Timber industry hosted a New Zealand delegation of buyers of local sawn timber, members of the New Zealand Imported Tropical Timber Group including timber importers, retailers, conservation organisations such as Greenpeace last month.

The partners agreed to develop sources of sustainably managed tropical timber.

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