The newly launched National Forest Policy is hoped to assist the government manage and sustain the country’s forest resources.
Guided by 10 principles, the policy document sets the framework for the strategies, goals and objectives as well as giving direction for the implementation of this policy.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Forestry and Research Dr. Vaeno Vigulu says the policy will guide the government in its endeavors to safeguard this important resource.
“The exploitation of forest resources has spread and increased at unsustainable rates due to high demand for revenue,” Vigulu says.
He says the question of sustainability is often at the forefront and the Ministry is quite concerned.
“The Solomon Islands government has decided to transform the forestry sector into a sustainable industry.
"That means exploiting the forests at a sustainable rate that does not have any or have minimized detrimental impacts to the forest environment and resource owners and continues to support our economy and infrastructure development”, Vigulu says.
A report by Global Witness in 2018 says the rate of logging in the Solomon Islands is unsustainable. The unsustainable practices remain a major challenge from production to consumption.
The reports says that such practice not only has ominous economic implications but also devastating environmental consequences in terms of biodiversity loss and climate change.
“Proper, maximum control is necessary and needed to be in place to minimize the detrimental impacts of the forest environment” Vigulu says.
Global Witness says the extent of logging activities are such that the country’s natural forests are predicted to be commercially exhausted by 2036.
Nearly all the Solomon Islands round logs are exported to China.
The forest policy’s strategy focuses on forest conservation, sustainable forest management, capacity development, forest economics and marketing, community governance, mentoring and law enforcement, transparency, and integrity.