19 Sep 2005

Solomon's government looks to tie environmental concerns with economic decisions

7:22 am on 19 September 2005

The Solomon Islands government is looking at ways to ensure environmental concerns are taken into account when economic decisions are made.

The Finance Minister, Peter Boyers, says poor management of the country's natural resources has damaged the environment and the economy.

He says unsustainable rates of deforestation, gardening methods that destroy fertile topsoil, and over-fishing have reduced fish stocks and damaged land and sea ecosystems.

The Deputy Secretary of the Department of Finance , Jim Hagan, says protecting the environment is a key to the country's economic prosperity.

"We have, in the case of forestry, a looming sort of crisis there- we have unsustainable logging rates and that's a demonstration of the importance of natural resources in the livelihood in the future of Solomon Islands. So getting the environment or at least thinking about environmental issues into framing policy, all sorts of policy, is absolutely vital."