14 Aug 2008

TI Solomons says loggers mislead landowners

1:20 pm on 14 August 2008

Transparency Solomon Islands is accusing logging companies of misleading landowners over the value of trees they are cutting down on their land.

It comes as the Solomon Islands Forestry Minister says a mechanism is being developed to ensure landowners are getting a fair price for their trees.

Transparency Solomon Islands Chairman Bob Pollard says at the moment landowners are only getting forty percent of the tree's value which should be increased.

Mr Pollard says logging companies are also understating the value of the trees to cheat both the government and landowners out of what they are owed.

"The loggers are receiving international prices but it's a question of what they're declaring. They're not declaring the prices they're receiving. They're declaring obviously much lower prices and by declaring a much lower price, they pay lower duty and they give less money to resource owners."

Transparency Solomon Islands Chairman Bob Pollard