SOLOMON ISLANDERS STIFFED BY LOGGING COMPANY

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Feb. 29) – Indigenousl landowners of the logged-out Pavuvu Island in the Russell Islands of the Solomon Islands Central Province, are still waiting for more than $2 million promised by a Malaysian logging company nearly 10 years ago.

The islanders are also waiting for a $15 million reforestation program promised by the Solomons government, they say.

Reginald Kokili, a spokesman for the Pavuvu landowners, said Marving Brothers Logging Co. promised to pay them 7.5 percent of its revenues from logging on the island.

He said the company, which operated o Pavuvu from 1995 to 1998, earned about $30 million but has yet to pay the landowners.

Meanwhile, Kokili said, the government has also reneged on its promise to spend $15 million on reforestation of the island following the logging.

He says Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza was the then minister for Forestry and supported the company’s application to log Pavuvu Island.

Mr Kokili says the people of Russell Islands will continue to appeal to the government to pay the 7.5 percent of the $30 million received for log exports from Pavuvu Island and a rehabilitation fund of more than $15 million.

He says the people of Russell Islands want development in their area and the promised funds will greatly assist them in their endeavors.

March 1, 2004

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.: www.sibconline.com.sb

 

 

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