29 May 2006

Better monitoring of logging operations needed in Solomon Islands

3:48 pm on 29 May 2006

A Solomon Islands advocacy group in Makira province says there needs to be closer monitoring of logging companies because of the damage that is being inflicted on the environment.

The executive director of the Makira Community Conservation Foundation Trust, Victor Kohaia, says trees are being felled in restricted areas, debris is littering streams, waterways are being blocked and communities are concerned about what they will be left with.

He was speaking after the central government said there would be a review of the Forestry Act, a moratorium on the issuing of new logging licenses and requirements to process some logs locally.

Mr Kohaia says he visited a logging operation in Kira Kira where the local community is being affected by what's happening.

"I think the problem here is there is no close monitoring. The monitoring is not done properly. We do have a Forestry division here which is supposed to be doing the monitoring - I just do not know."

Mr Kohaia says he sent a report last week to the province's premier about the impact of the nine or so companies operating in Makira but he's yet to have a response.