24 Apr 2008

Solomon Islands Central Bank says log production rise reflects government inaction

1:41 pm on 24 April 2008

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Forestry says it's introduced measures to curb the dramatic rise in log production.

The Central Bank's 2007 fourth quarter report shows production rose by 29 percent on the same period in the previous year to a record high of more than 418,000 cubic metres.

The Bank says the increase reflects the government's reluctance to institute measures to curb logging activities.

It also says that although international prices for logs have reached more than 275 US dollars per cubic metre, local logs continue to fetch only a quarter of that price on average.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry, Edward Kingmele, says the government is looking at the issue critically.

"We're taking the drastic steps, one of which is to critically review our issuance of licenses, monitoring of logging, policing the code of logging practices, so these are the areas that the Ministry's working on to tighten up and see if we can control the situation."

Edward Kingmele