1 Oct 2007

Solomons' watchdog says politicians vested interests stymie call for sustainable forestry

1:51 pm on 1 October 2007

The anti corruption agency Transparency Solomon Islands, says politicians must act in the national interest and end rampant logging.

A stark new report by the Ministry of Forestry says at the current rate of logging all commercial forests will be gone in four or five years.

It says apart from the environmental degradation the impact on the economy will be enormous, given that logging provides two thirds of the country's foreign earnings.

The report says logging has to be cut back to sustainable levels and the chair of Transparency, Bob Pollard, agrees.

He says the hurdle is that some of the country's political leaders appear to have vested interests in allowing logging at the current rate to continue.

"It would appear that their concerns aren't for the national interest. It would appear that some of our leaders, for various reasons, are willing to sit by or maybe even benefit out of this exploiting of the forests at a completely unsustainable rate and from what the report says, it shows the rate of exploitation is just increasing."