Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (May 30) – Wonder why the country has gone beyond its sustainable rate of logging?

Because we have a number of lousy loggers who are bent on raping the nation’s forest for their own selfish ends.

Some of them were caught in the act in Marovo, Western Province, two weeks ago. And their operations were shut down as a result.

The Central Bank of Solomon Islands recently expressed its grave concern about the current rate of logging.

It said the current rate is four times the sustainable rate.

This, it said, could threaten the stability of the nation’s economy in the near future.

And if the current rate of harvesting continues, it would rapidly deplete the natural forests.

Yes, the logging industry is the mainstay of the national economy. But there is an urgent need to address sustainability concerns in this industry.

Not only that, but there is also urgent need to monitor the operations of logging companies.

We welcome foreign logging companies that come here and operate honestly, respecting local laws and resources owners. But we will not tolerate those who come here to rape our forests and carry out illegal operations.

The Marovo discovery calls for regular monitoring of logging operations.

Operations such as "Operation Tane" should be done on a quarterly basis.

It is only when we keep an eye on these people that our forests resources can be saved from lousy loggers.

It is no easy task. The job will demand significant financial support and manpower.

But it is a job that must be done.

Those found to be raping the country’s forest resources illegally, should not only have their operations shut down, but also face the courts of the land.

Merely shutting down their operations is not enough. They must have their day in court to answer for their alleged misdeeds.

That is what the community expects.

Our forests are so precious to us.

We have a duty to protect our resources from lousy and dishonest loggers.

May 30, 2005

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