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GREENPEACE PACIFIC Suva, Fiji Islands Sydney, Australia

PRESS RELEASE November 30, 2000


The first-ever shipment of Solomon Islands ecotimber to Australia has just arrived in Sydney.

Ecotimber is produced by Solomon Islands villagers, who cut their trees in a way that causes minimal damage to their forest. This shipment mostly comes from the beautiful Marovo Lagoon area in the western Solomon Islands. With support from Greenpeace through a joint Ecoforestry Programme, the village communities have been working for several years towards finding an income-generating project that conserves their forests and marine resources.

"This shipment is an amazing success for the village ecotimber producers and for the program, especially given the civil war in the Solomon Islands over the last year and half," said Greenpeace forests campaigner Grant Rosoman.

The Solomon Islands Ecoforestry Programme is a joint initiative of Greenpeace, the Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), Foundation for the People of the South Pacific and the New Zealand Imported Tropical Timber Group (ITTG). Since 1995 the program has been helping village communities to organize themselves, manage their forests sustainably, and mill and market ecotimber. Over 1,000 m3 of ecotimber has been produced in the last three years, with a third of it exported to New Zealand.

"Destructive logging was threatening their forests but these communities instead chose a sustainable income and forest protection. It’s also a lot of hard work, so we are especially proud in helping them to begin exporting to Australia," said Felix Narasia, Solomon Islands Development Trust Ecoforestry Coordinator.

The ecotimber can be used for joinery, flooring, decking, paneling and furniture.

For more information contact: Greenpeace forests campaigner Grant Rosoman, (643) 382 5476 Media officer Samantha Magick, (612) 9261-0318 or 0413 740 450 Peter Mussett at The Woodage, (612) 4872 1618, or 0419 978 855 Felix Narasia, Solomon Is Development Trust Ecoforestry Unit, (677) 22289


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