Monday, 7 January 2008 10:35 AM

Solomon Islands Logging One of the Worst in the World

The World Bank estimates logging in Solomon Islands has increased from two to three times what is sustainable to as much as four times the level that the environment can sustain.

It says logs are grossly undervalued for the purpose of duties and other taxes while politicians and their cronies are among those with snouts in the trough provided by Malaysian, Australian and other logging operators.

Islands Business International says that high-level activities include transfer pricing and kickbacks paid through front companies in Hong Kong and accounts in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands.

It says although RAMSI has much to be proud of in containing the recent ethnic violence, there has been a failure to bring the logging industry to heel.

Islands Business says that there is also over-exploitation of the marine environment through cheating on tuna catches or the live dolphin export trade.

Its says independent experts estimate there is only a further five to seven years of commercial logging possible at the present rate of felling.

Australian officials with RAMSI warn the Solomon Islands Government is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a week in revenue through abuse of logging money.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province