Friday, 30 May 2008 7:23 AM

TSI Commends Sir Allan for Standing Firm

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) commends the Government and Minister of Forests, Sir Allan Kemakeza, for standing firm in their decision to increase the determined value for logs - a new government policy announced recently.

In a press statement the TSI said that despite strong pressure and threats from the logging association the Government is making the right decision in increasing the determined log value from US$78 to US$85 per cubic meter as of the 1st of June 2008.

TSI went on to say that no one should be "misled by the loggers' campaign of misinformation." TSI stated that the increase in the determined value of logs would benefit both the land owners and the Government. It ensures that the land owners get a better share of the exploited forests.

TSI also cautions land owners not to be deceived into believing that the 40/60 split between land owners and loggers is a legally established arrangement. "Loggers may refer to this split as if it is a legal requirement, it is not! It should not be accepted without challenge," the statement reads.

TSI applauds the government for doing what is right and welcomes the decision announced by Minister Lilo on 24th April to move to a system where the determined value will be updated every three months based on a transparent process, without Ministerial intervention.

Mr. Lilo said the formula and the automatic adjustment process will mean that Solomon Islanders receive a fair return for their log exports while ensuring that logging companies are not overly burdened when the market value of logs fall. He said the system is fair and transparent to everyone.