Tuesday, 14 October 2008 9:06 AM

SPC To Assist Forestry Act Review: PS Kingmele

The South Pacific Commission (SPC) will be assisting the Solomon Islands Government on its proposed plan to review the country's Forestry Act.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forests, Edward Kingmele told the National Express, officials of the South Pacific Commission had informed him about this during the recent second regional conference of Ministers of Agriculture and Forests in Samoa.

Mr. Kingmele said that some neighboring countries have already benefited from the SPC assistance particularly in providing funding assistance for their for their forestry and agriculture projects.

He said the assistance to be provided by SPC is fundamental to the country as it will help towards having a good forestry act, which will, in turn, help Solomon Islanders to be able to properly manage their forest resources.

Mr. Kingmele said that the current forestry act is not effective in ensuring proper management through collaboration between resource owners and the Ministry to address issues to do with logging and other important issues, mostly related to logging which are affecting the country.

The South Pacific Commission has actually expressed its willingness to help in funding projects submitted by both the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Mr. Kingmele said that some of the projects which they put forward to the SPC are in the areas of climate change, food production, and in the forestry in the areas of growing of trees nationally.

The second regional conference of Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry in the South Pacific countries is held after two years with the recent meeting hosted by Samoa and the 4th to be hosted by Papua New Guinea in 2010.

Mr. Kingmele said on the bid for next host, Solomon Islands never bid because the Minister for Forests and Agriculture were not present at the time of the bid.

"In 2012, Tonga will be the next host of the 5th meeting and Solomon Islands will bid to host the 6th meeting," he said.

The first regional meeting was held in 2006.