13 Jul 2006

Solomon's Central Bank Governor warns of economic disaster

6:00 am on 13 July 2006

Solomon Islands Central Bank Governor, Rick Hou says the country's dependence on logging is leading to an economic disaster.

Mr Hou has told a Pacific 2020 Seminar in Honiara that loggers are over-harvesting and not replacing the forest.

He said at the current rate of harvesting, Solomon Islands forests will last for only six years.

He said the issue is what happens when the country runs out of trees to cut since it has already reached the point where the country is over-dependent on the forest sector.

Last year, Solomon Islands extracted 1.1-million cubic metres of logs, the highest ever for the country.

Over the same period log exports generated more than five-hundred million dollars in foreign exchange and accounted for two thirds of the country's total exports.