The export market for sawn timber from Solomons’ community operators is continuing to grow but consumers’ are increasingly demanding that it is sourced from legally and sustainably managed forests. Source: Radio New Zealand
The New Zealand Imported Tropical Timber Group has had a number of contacts with Solomons’ operators this year, leading to commitments to develop a system of third party legality assurance over the next two years.
The Group’s Malcolm Scott says this will allow audits of sawn timber production.
The Solomon Islands Forest Association says it supports moves to clean up the logging industry and to penalise companies that have allegedly evaded duty.
It says a clean up is long overdue.
This comes after the former Forests Minister, Bodo Dettke, claimed logging companies owed the government tens of millions of dollars in unpaid dues on their log exports.
Meanwhile the Association says the government must publish the names of the alleged offending companies.
It also says these companies must be blacklisted if they fail to pay, and have their licences cancelled.
There are hopes that an independent organisation can be set up to ensure timber production in Solomon Islands is sustainable and legal.