18 Aug 2015

Solomon Islands' controversial forestry minister is removed

8:06 pm on 18 August 2015

The Solomon Islands prime minister has removed his Minister of Forests, Bodo Dettke, following widespread criticism of the appointment.

Bodo Dettke

Bodo Dettke Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

In a statement this afternoon Manasseh Sogavare says the change was made to ensure proposed reforms to the Forestry sector were not compromised by personal interests.

Mr Dettke has extensive involvement in the logging industry.

He now becomes Minister of Culture and Tourism, swapping with Bartholomew Parapolo.

In total, six portfolios have been re-assigned, including the only woman MP, Freda Soriacomua, who is replaced at Rural Development by Jimson Tanangada, while she takes on his Youth and Women's Development portfolio.

Mr Sogavare says the changes are not promotions nor demotions but strategic moves to to aid the implementation of his policies.