World heritage body tells company to leave

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THE Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association (ERWHSA), the body looking after the country’s world heritage site in Renbel province, has expressed concern about a foreign fishing company showing interest in the province’s fishery resources.

It has been reported that a foreign company is interested in investing in Renbel province’s fisheries, and that the provincial government had permitted the company a one-day visit to the Indispensable Reef for surveillance purposes.

The identity of the company was unknown until photos of people loading boxes in Rennell surfaced. The boxes were alleged to contain crayfish.

Renbel premier, Collin Singamoana, later confirmed the People’s Fisheries Solomon Islands (PFSI), a Chinese-owned company, was allowed to conduct a one-day survey in the province’s Indispensable Reef.

News of the company’s operation worries the ERWHSA. Chairman of the Association, George Tauika claims the national and provincial government have failed to protect East Rennell.

East Rennell is the only world heritage site in the country which is found in Renbel Province, to the east of Rennell Island.

He said it is frustrating that whilst they are making an effort to conserve that part of the island, the province is entertaining a potential investor in its fisheries sector.

Tauika said harvesting of marine resources is a normal practice by the people in the province but they do it in a more sustainable way.

He said foreign companies have no care for the rules and it is worrying.

“The company is foreign owned. These companies have no care for the environment. All they care about is getting the resources they need,” Tauika said.

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