5 Jul 2013

Allegations of illegal export of protected species in Solomons

4:10 am on 5 July 2013

There are allegations that tubi, a rare wood in Solomon Islands, is being illegally milled and exported.

Tubi, which is one of the most sought after timbers on the international market, only grows in parts of Isabel province.

Transparency Solomon Islands says in recent years special permits have been granted to allow some logging companies to cut and export milled tubi, despite the fact it's a protected species under Solomon Islands law.

The watchdog group says tubi is only allowed to be cut, milled into timber or exported for research purposes.

They say the allegations require urgent investigation by the Ministry of Forestry.

Last week a landowner on San Jorge Island alleged that Asian loggers are bribing government officials to allow the illegal harvest.