12 Sep 2007

Solomons forestry outlook worsens

3:21 pm on 12 September 2007

Solomon Islands already unsustainable forestry harvest is getting worse.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry, Charles Viva, says figures for last year show the harvest was three times what the country could sustain, and indications are this year it is higher again.

He says at this rate commercial forests will have disappeared within several years.

Mr Viva says to slow the rate of harvesting his officials need legislative support.

A recently released report from the Ministry, called the National Resource Assessment Update, calls for MPs to look again at the Forestry Bill from 2004.

Mr Viva says this could have a significant impact.

"Well if it was passed it would give us some powers to be able to regulate activities in the forest industry, to be able to focus more on sustainable harvesting and to be able to enforce regulations and laws to be able to control the rate of harvesting to a sustainable level."

Charles Viva