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Solomon Island’s uncontrolled logging dilemma

Solomon Island’s uncontrolled logging dilemma: Roundtable’s agenda

Honiara, Solomon Islands, 5 March 2013 – Discussions at the Solomon Islands Prime Minister’s Roundtable on Development, Society and Environment continues today in Honiara with logging being the subject of the morning session.

The Solomon Islands’ forestry industry faces the challenges of unsustainable logging and the unregulated conversion of forests to other land uses.

In his keynote speech, Mr Wulf Killman of GIZ stated that the forestry industry cannot be short sighted and needs to meet the needs of today’s generation as well as those of future generations.

He said that for a sustainable forestry industry there must be a balance between its economic, social and environmental dimensions.

“If Solomon Islands wants to deal with this problem, it needs to improve its land-use planning, improve the participatory processes (through free prior informed consent), adopt appropriate forest legislation and ensure its enforcement,” Mr Killman suggested.

Mr Killman said that Costa Rica, by taking appropriate action, was able to increase its forest cover from 21% in 1987 to 47% by 2008. “The same can be done in Solomon Islands,” he concluded.

The participants of this forestry discussion agreed that although there are a few logging companies that abide by the country’s laws and regulations, and even enjoy sustainability certification, there are a number of them that act in a rogue manner and are tainting the reputation of the whole industry.

They insisted that there were a number of ways to put the industry on a sustainable footing for instance by strengthening the enforcement of the legislation and regulations already in place, reviewing current legislation, ensuring that all companies are members of the Solomon Islands Forest Industry Association (as required by law) before they can operate, and ensuring that replanting with indigenous tree species is taken up seriously by the industry.

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister’s Roundtable on Development, Society and Environment continues in the afternoon with discussions on the education and fisheries sectors.

The three day Roundtable, ending on 6 March, is the Solomon Islands Government’s initiative to find an effective way to achieve a more inclusive model of development – a development model that benefits all the people of Solomon Islands. It is being attended by over 30 representatives of government, the private sector and civil society from Solomon Islands.

The event is being supported by IUCN and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

About IUCN
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN works on biodiversity, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,000 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. IUCN’s Regional Office for Oceania is located in Suva, Fiji.
www.iucn.org

About GIZ
The services delivered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH draw on a wealth of regional and technical expertise and tried and tested management know-how. As a federal enterprise, we support the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. We are also engaged in international education work around the globe. GIZ operates in many fields: economic development and employment promotion; governance and democracy; security, reconstruction, peacebuilding and civil conflict transformation; food security, health and basic education; and environmental protection, resource conservation and climate change mitigation. GIZ operates throughout Germany and in more than 130 countries worldwide. GIZ has been working in the Pacific Region for 35 years. The projects share an office with a service unit in Suva, Fiji while the GIZ country office in Manila in the Philippines is responsible for the region as a whole. A total of 10 seconded and 6 national experts work locally for GIZ. www.giz.de/en/

ENDS

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