17 Mar 2004

New Solomons forestry bill welcomed

6:05 am on 17 March 2004

A forestry industry leader in Solomon Islands says a new forestry bill is long overdue.

The bill is designed to give more powers to the provinces, and improves the licensing of large logging operations.

Wayne Wolf from the Forest Management Project says the new bill addresses environmental concerns, will encourage small scale sawmilling, and improve relations between landowners and logging companies.

"I think it's long overdue. The old forestry act is nearly 30 years old and it was promulgated under entirely different circumstances than at the moment. It was well overdue. I think everyone will benefit from it. The logging companies will be able to operate without interference from land owners, and the land owners will have their rights more vigorously protected than they were perhaps in the past."

Wayne Wolf.