20 Oct 2003

Niue split over Malaysian company's forestry proposal

4:15 pm on 20 October 2003

Malaysian investors want to fell Niue's primary hardwood forest.

The investors are reported to have gained permission from the island's Cabinet to conduct an investigation into milling and logging stands of Pacific hardwood.

The investors are apparently keen to assist Niue by supporting the construction of a new cultural centre, planting palm oil trees and vanilla ...if the project is approved.

But, there is a great deal of local opposition to the proposal.

Niue News says eco tour backers claim the Malaysian investors want to clear fell and re-plant palm oil trees.

Several MPs and forestry officals have joined the opposition, saying commercial logging will quickly ruin the fragile forest essential for the ecology of the raised atoll.