18 May 2002

Environmentalist in Solomons fears violence if waste export goes ahead

9:55 am on 18 May 2002

A New Zealand environmentalist living on Makira in Solomon Islands says the importation of factory waste from Taiwan could lead to violence.

While the Taiwanese Government is adamant the export of such waste cannot proceed, some members of the Solomon Islands Government continue to support the plan.

Environmentalist Roger James says the prospect of the waste export is causing a rift in the Makira community.

He says the people of the Weather Coast, where it is planned the material will be dumped, are enthusiastic about the scheme because they have been promised great wealth.

He says these people consider the critics to be jealous.

"It does have potential to cause some really big rifts in the communities here, I think. People here on the north coast of Makira talk about - we don't know if they'd actually do it - committing acts of violence, if any ship was to arrive. I hope that is just talk but people on the north coast are certainly taking it very seriously.ls"

Roger James