5 Feb 2010

Opposition to plans for logging near Solomons' World Heritage Site

6:18 pm on 5 February 2010

A non-government organisation in Solomon Islands says plans to start logging on one of the country's few remaining pristine islands are being opposed by some landowners.

Rennell Island, which is home to the World Heritage Site, Lake Tekango, has been free of logging until now.

But Charles Stennett from the Live and Learn Forestry Awareness Media Centre says plans are underway to log some of its trees for export.

He says at least one landowner says he will contest any logging on his customary land.

Mr Stennett says his organisation has been telling landowners about alternatives to logging, such as trying to access international REDD funding, which could compensate them for preserving their forests.

"This area is quite a beautiful place in Solomon Islands, but I know its pretty hard, that island is quite isolated and people need some sort of money to survive. But the cutting down of forests will have a lasting effect on the people."

Mr Stennett says conservationists are also campaigning for a ban on commercial logging on Kolombangara island in Western Province.