Solomons Premier Seeks Compensation For World Heritage Site

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National government must pay to preserve Rennel and Bellona forests

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 17, 2014) – The premier of Rennel and Bellona province in Solomon Islands says the country's only World Heritage Area is being endangered by the national government's failure to compensate land owners.

The area in East Rennell is dominated by Lake Tengano and the surrounding forest is said to have a rich biodiversity.

But the premier, Lency Tango, says unhappy landowners have invited a logging company to log the forests.

Mr Tango says the government is obliged to compensate the landowners who are not able to harvest their forests or take other steps that would harm the environment.

"What I mean here is that the government [should] compensate the people for preventing their land going to commercial activities, such as logging. I mean it is just common sense, when you have a got a foreign interest in your land, there must be something that will make you happy and make you not to allow commercial activities that would disturb the programme," says premier Tango

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