By Gary Hatigeva
THE Ministry of Forest and Research has confirmed an allocation of $3.6 million into its slashed budget to implement its key priority areas under the policy of the Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG).
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Vaeno Vigulu revealed this when appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing yesterday.
Mr Vigulu revealed that from a wide range of policies under the former government, seven policies were taken and adopted by the SIDCCG but were forced to reprioritise and trimmed down to what he regards as the top five key priority area objectives for the ministry to ensure their realisation.
The top five policy area objectives include a Review of the Forestry Act and the National Herbarium Research Laboratory project, where the PS said both policies received allocations of $500,000 each for their implementation programmes.
The others are the National Herbarium and Botanical Garden Fencing and Landscape project, and National Forest Resources Development Programme which were both allocated $1million each.
The Downstream Processing Project, on the other hand being regarded the ministry’s fourth top priority policy, which was allocated $600,000.
Meanwhile, the PS explained that the other two policies, National Forest Inventory and the Native Forest Enrichment and Research Project were left out because the ministry had to reprioritise.
“And we thought that the top five policy area objectives are the ones we can complete this year before the government actual close down in December.”
With the total allocation of just over $3million, the ministry has only around nine months in hand to see that all its top five priority policies are implemented.