24 May 2007

Solomons Central Bank concerned about logging industry

5:40 pm on 24 May 2007

The Solomon Islands Central Bank says it still has grave concerns about the sustainability of the country's logging industry.

A report from the Ministry of Finance and Treasury shows the economy is performing well, with growth continuing at about six per cent.

The Central Bank governor, Rick Hou, says the logging industry has had the strongest growth and remains the largest export earner, accounting for a substantial amount of government revenue.

But, he says the industry cannot continue to log at its current rate.

"In the last couple of years we notice the extraction rate has increased these concerns become more and more acute. What our forestry people are saying at that current rate we definitely can't be going beyond ten years of harvesting of indigenous forest in terms of growing the economy that's a very short period."

Mr Hou says the expansion of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, needs to come into fruition before the complete decline of the forestry industry.