24 Apr 2008

Forestry industry can be saved, says Solomons government

3:27 pm on 24 April 2008

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Forestry remains upbeat about the future of the forestry industry despite more critical signs of over-exploitation of resources.

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.

This is despite a recent warning by the Governor General to MPs that the country's forests will be extinct in five years at the current rate of logging.

The Bank says this reflects the government's reluctance to institute measures to curb logging while prices for local logs remain far lower than international prices.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry, Edward Kingmele, says the government is taking urgent measures to review the log exporting process.

"Forestry as an industry within the next 20 years can be saved because of the plantation that is going and the regrowth that is coming up and also the village people who are now also participating in tree planting."

Edward Kingmele