18 Sep 2008

New forest conservation project established in Solomon Islands

11:27 am on 18 September 2008

A new forest conservation project has been established in Solomon Islands to help combat the unsustainable rate of logging.

The World Wide Fund or WWF says a European Union grant will allow it to set up a network of protected forest areas and give alternatives to large scale commercial logging.

A Solomon Islands spokesperson for the NGO, Alan Smith, says tremendous pressure has been exerted on the forest ecosystems and drastic deforestation is taking its toll.

"There's been many reports by organisations such as AUSaid that point out that by 2012 commercial logging operations are probably going to cease in the Solomon Islands because the commercial areas will be all logged out."

Alan Smith says the Solomons has the largest number of endemic bird species by land area, but with the unsustainable rate of logging, there will be great losses of habitat.