26.5 C
Friday, December 1, 2023

South Road next month

BY SAMIE WAIKORI MAINTENANCE work for Malaita’s South...


Premiers briefed on Malaita’s amended ordinance on...

Pirione urges premiers to fully contribute to PGA review

BY JENNIFER KUSAPA PERMANENT Secretary of the Ministry...
Home Blog Page 3

‘Ministry of Forestry strives to manage 22% of log-able forests in the country’

Permanent Secretary of Forestry, Vaeno Vigulu


The Ministry of Forestry and Research is intensifying its efforts to responsibly manage the 22 percent of log-able forests in the country.

This commitment is demonstrated through the strict enforcement of the Forestry and Timber Utilisation Act, eight Forestry Regulations, and the Solomon Islands Code of Logging Practice 2002, governing the operations of over 200 felling licences.

Dr Vaeno Vigulu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry and Research, reiterated this commitment during his appearance before the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament this week.

The PAC was conducting a review of the 2022 Appropriation Bill.

Vigulu disclosed that out of the 22 percent of log-able forests, approximately 18 percent have already been logged and are currently undergoing re-logging.

He clarified that “re-entry” in media reports typically refers to second, third, or even fourth logging cycles.

Only 4 percent of the log-able forests remain in their pristine, untouched state, as they are already under concession and will soon undergo logging.

Looking ahead, Vigulu projected that in the next five to seven years, the entire 22 percent of log-able forests will have been accessed for logging, forming the basis for round log exports.

Regarding the status of round log exports in 2022, Vigulu acknowledged that there had been a reduction in stock.

He addressed concerns about sustainability by pointing out that this issue is primarily associated with the 18 percent that has already been logged.

A significant portion of the forests, around 68 percent, is protected from logging, although some areas are under threat.

The Ministry is actively implementing measures to control harvesting and protect these areas.

Additionally, Vigulu mentioned that new revenue streams, such as carbon and REDD+ initiatives, are being explored to support the national economy.

Vigulu explained that Article 5, the REDD+ initiative, aims to reduce emissions from degraded and deforested land.

It involves activities like agro-forestry, reforestation, and other methods to restore green vegetation and sequester carbon on previously degraded land.

REDD+ consists of three phases: preparation (Phase 1), establishing safeguards (Phase 2), and qualifying for ecosystem payment (Phase 3).

Furthermore, Vigulu highlighted Article 6, specifically 6.2 and 6.4, which pertain to payments for ecosystem services and cover compliance, the carbon market, and the voluntary carbon market.

The Ministry of Forestry and Research’s comprehensive approach to managing the country’s log-able forests underscores the importance of responsible logging practices and environmental conservation.

As the nation looks toward a future with more accessible log-able forests, the Ministry remains committed to sustainable resource management and exploring new revenue opportunities, such as carbon and REDD+ initiatives.

The forestry sector’s role in contributing to the national economy is expected to evolve and expand in the coming years.

MPG continues to face issues with revenue collection




MALAITA provincial government continues to face setbacks with its revenue collection, an issue endured since past financial years.

Finance Minister for MPG, Randol Sifoni highlighted this in his 2023/2024 revised budget speech on the floor of assembly on Monday this week.

He said that for the first six months of 2023/2024 financial year, MPG has not improved in its revenue collection.

Sifoni said this however needs effective team networking between local business owners, ward development committee, provincial administration and the assembly to boost it.

He said this is super-important in order to realise all uncollected revenue potentials the province has forgone in recent years.

In that Sifoni called on all MPAs for greater collaboration with their Ward Development committees (WDCs) to identify revenue sources in their respective wards.

He said there are illegal business continue to operate in all the wards, and they need to register to serve the purpose of increasing tax collections by the provincial government.  

Sifoni said further to the issue, MPG’s treasury division has shortage of revenue officers and recruitment must done to have needed staff in-place.

He added that MPG also need an effective treasurer to lead the team.

Sifoni said Malaita province depend very much on its internal revenue to facilitate ward grants and other services to 33 wards of Malaita province.

Forestry bill in final drafting stage at attorney general chambers



The long-awaited Forestry Bill, aimed at making vital amendments to the Forest Resources and Timber Utilization Act, Cap 40, is now in its final drafting stage at the Attorney General Chambers and is poised to be presented in Parliament.

This development was confirmed by Jacob Kinai, the legal advisor to the Ministry of Forestry and Research, during a session with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier this week.

The Public Accounts Committee was reviewing the 2024 Appropriation Bill when Jacob Kinai disclosed the progress of the Forestry Bill.

Kinai emphasized that the bill has been under review at the Attorney General Chambers since 2020 and has undergone multiple iterations, with the current version being the fifth.

“We are now at version 5, so, in reality, we rely heavily on drafters to finalize the bill. We are eager to push it through Parliament,” Kinai said.

However, Kinai noted that just last week, they received version 5 for further review by drafters before finalization.

He also pointed out that many regulations, including the Code of Logging Practice, are outdated and in need of review, underscoring the importance of passing the new bill.

The primary objective of the Forestry Bill is to amend the Forest Resources and Timber Utilization Act to make it more robust and forward-looking, accommodating the changing landscape of activities and developments in the forestry sector.

The secondary objectives of the recommended amendments to the Act include:

Enabling the Act to adapt to changes in the forestry sector and its relevant regulations.

Introducing a “Forestry Technical Committee” to replace the “Commissioner of Forest Resources” for issuing licenses.

Substituting “Council of Chiefs” for “appropriate Government” and “Tribal Land Panel” for “Customary Land Appeal Court” in Section 10(1) to address land matters.

Updating penalties to “a fine of fifty thousand dollars and five years’ imprisonment or both” in Section 17.

Establishing a Forestry Board with diverse responsibilities, including appeals, advising the Minister, and making decisions on forestry-related issues.

The Forestry Board’s decisions will be final and hold significance in various aspects of forestry management and policy.

The impending introduction of the Forestry Bill to Parliament marks a significant step toward modernizing and strengthening forestry regulations in response to changing industry dynamics. The bill’s objectives encompass accommodating sector changes, ensuring responsible licensing and enforcement, and establishing a robust framework for the future of the forestry sector. Stay tuned for further updates as this crucial legislation progresses.

Murder case adjourned for man alleged of throwing victim off cliff



The case of a man charged with murder has been adjourned for the defendant to take his plea on November 21.

Johnathan Felega is charged with one count of murder.

The case was mentioned in the magistrate court yesterday, however, the defence lawyer told court that the defendant is sick and is admitted at the national referral hospital.

Remand warrant for Felega was extended.

Police alleged on August 11, 2023 Felega approached the victim punched him on his mouth causing him to fall backwards.

Felega then allegedly dragged the deceased onto the edge of a cliff, where he continued to punch and kick the victim before throwing him off the cliff.

Later, police say Felega retrieved the deceased’s body and took it to another location and placed it there. Then he went to the deceased’s wife and informed her that her husband had fallen off of a cliff.

The matter was reported to the Yandina police and Felega was arrested and remanded in custody.

Public Prosecution Office appears for the Crown whilst Public Solicitor Office appears for the Defendant.

More calls to repair Malaita roads

One of the roads on Malaita, showing a truck towing another which cannot pass over it. Photo credit – Bob Pollard.


THE Kokonut Pacific (KPSI) has added its voice to the resounding call for government to repair the roads on Malaita.

In a media statement yesterday, Managing Director of KPSI described the state of roads on Malaita as “shameful” and in urgent need of repair.

“The Malaita roads are in a shameful state and urgently need to be repaired,” says Bob Pollard, managing director of KPSI along with Mr Jimmy Kutu a Malaita South Road businessman.

“We call on the responsible authorities to urgently address the repair of the roads.

“The South Road is now impassable, even for a Land cruiser. These roads are essential for services like health, law and order and education. Businesses and people’s livelihood depend on these roads.

“With the roads in total disrepair, life for thousands of people is very difficult. It is great that the Honiara population can enjoy new roads and sport facilities, but it is unacceptable that rural communities are suffering because their roads are neglected.

“If our leaders’ salaries and benefits stopped when the road is damaged, they might appreciate how important it is to get these roads fixed and do something about it.”

Kokonut Pacific is a business with the goal of improving village livelihoods and with the roads in such bad condition farmers and producers cannot supply and therefore do not have an income.

Businessman Kutu says, “it is impossible to run a business when the roads are in such a bad condition.

“For example, with the upcoming pineapple season it will be very difficult to get pineapples to market.

“Can responsible leaders please attend to this serious situation urgently?” he pleads.

Earlier this year, some repair works were done on some segments of the roads on Malaita. This was after much outcry early this year over the dilapidated states the roads were in.

Bad weather has reportedly contributed much to the deterioration of the makeshift repairs done to the roads, which are mostly just flatted soil and rocks, and not tar-sealed.

In July this year prime minister Manasseh Sogavare announced $10million to the Malaita provincial government during a meeting with Premier Martin Fini.

In October this year, the Second Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP2) announced successful upgrading and maintenance road works in the North road – 17 kilometers of Malaita’s North Road from Gwanaru’u Junction to Forcim Market.

Also in mid-October, the Trades Transformation Company announced beginning work on the 21km road in East Malaita, part of the first phase of SIRAP.

Despite these publicised road work activities, the call from public in Malaita still remains loud – that the road on Malaita is still not conducive for travellers.

Businesses across the main island of Malaita continue to be affected by this problem.

Malaita gov’t progressing in its policy: Premier Fini

Premier for Malaita Province Hon Fini


THE Malaita New Government for Fundamental Redirection is progressing in implementing its redirection policy, premier Martin Fini has said.

On Monday this week, Fini said in his address to the full assembly that though time is not on their side they will deliver to the people of Malaita province.

“When we assumed leadership in March this year, I reiterated few times in my speech that my government will deliver in a short time period.

“I wish to reiterate again that with assurance that we did live up to our call and determination as we have made public in our many addresses,” he said.

Fini said as part of it, his government is striving to implement its policy and have so far made progresses in some key priorities of the policy.   

He said the redirection government is eight months in their leadership and so far, they have made these following considerable achievements.

  • Establish a good relationship with the national government. Establish peaceful environment in Malaita, Honiara and with important development partners.
  • Through renewed relationship with international communities, donor and development partners, confidence is restored which enable the continuation in the implementation of important projects in Malaita.
  • My government made several successful negotiation and consultation with international communities and development partners. For instance, dialogue with key stakeholders such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, China and other diplomatic missions in Honiara.
  • My government also secured funding for the tar-sealing of Auki township roads from PRC.
  • My government is negotiating trade partnership where our local Malaita farmers can participate in exporting their products.
  • My government is re-establishing Malaita Investment Company, formerly known as Malaita Development Authority and now will call Malaita Holding Limited.

Fini said his government will continue to strive and stride on areas of development and relationship they will achieve for Malaita province.

On that note, he thanked national government through the MEDI sub-committee of PMO for supporting his government in areas important for the stability for Malaita province and Solomon Islands.

‘Foreign forces gives off bad impression’



A spokesperson for the former Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and Correctional Service Solomon Islands (CSSI) said the invitation and presence of foreign forces in the country ahead of the 17th Pacific Games “paints a bad picture of the country”.

Frank Elli Siliako speaking to Island Sun said this demonstrates that the country is “bad, corrupt and made up of criminals”.

Siliako said the government might not realise this but this might also paint the country as a “war zone”.

As the country is expecting 500 participants from 24 Oceania countries as well as tourists flocking into the country in the coming days, Siliako added that the presence of these foreign forces around the city during the games might raise questions among visitors.

“They might ask why are there foreign forces in the country?

“Is the country in trouble?” he said.

He added that the country despite being diverse, does have ways of settling internal conflicts.

Silaiko further said the root of most recent conflicts is because the government refuses to have dialogues with its citizens.

So far, Australia has shown its commitment to the Solomon Islands government and the RSIPF to deliver a safe and secure games by deploying personnels.

A statement from the Australia Federal Police (AFP)stated that the additional personnels will help the RSIPF to provide support in security operation and planning during the two weeks of the games.

The AFP is working alongside other personnels from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

Malaita disqualified again from PCDF



MALAITA province has once again disqualified for the PCDF programme this financial year 2023/2024.

As a consequence the $10 million capital expenditure under its original budget will be reduced to $2million.

This means Malaita’s government (MPG) will not able to implement about 30 of its approved projects for this financial year 2023/2024.

The disqualification is a put-down on rural communities which have been looking forward to projects earmarked for them.

Announcing the disqualification on Monday this week Minister for Finance and Treasury under MPG, Randol Sifoni said, “Malaita provincial government has again disqualified for the second time.”    

He said that the disqualification has “dramatically affected our budget to reduce to $2,106,683 from the original budget of $10,898,087”.

“I would like to highlight that for this year 2023/2024 financial year, I am indeed sad to say that all our planned expenditure could not eventuate due to our PCDF disqualification.

“We have not met three minimum conditions including PAC non-scrutiny of 2020/2021 audit report within 21 days after MPG had received the audit opinion, procurement and non-full payment of outstanding ward funded projects from 2019/2020 to 2022/2023.

“PCDF assessments are usually done on prior year’s operations.

“In terms of procurement, seven provinces have disqualified on this MC due to processing payments of laptops from SIG preferred supplies but use three quotations instead.

“MPG has already rectified this issue for the next assessment,” Sifoni said.

Premier Martin Fini said a critical component of his government is strengthening the governance of the provincial government.

“This includes, the management of PCDF and following the requirements of assessments, improving the procurement and compliance system.

“Reduce auditor issues, managing and respecting financial processes and procedures, responding to timely reporting and improving capability to deliver services in coordinated manner,” he said.

Fini however assured confidence that his government is putting in efforts to strengthen the governance system of the province.

“We are focusing on improving Malaita province PCDF performances to improve on our failures.

“My government is taking actions in ensuring financial management procedures are met, weakness in procurement processes are strengthened and all procedural governance system from planning to implementation are followed and adhered,” he said.

Malaita-Jiangsu sister relationship is for mutual benefit: Premier Fini

Malaita premier Martin Fini.



PREMIER of Malaita province, Martin Fini says the proposed sister-relationship between Malaita province and Jiangsu province in China is for the mutual benefit of both provinces.

The premier said this in his address on the floor of assembly on Monday this week.

 He adds that the MOU for this relationship will not be concealed as rumours claim.

“I would like to state that my government will not hide the content of the MOU between Malaita and Jiangsu province, as it based on genuine need and friendship of Malaitans and Jiangsu province of China.”

He said the MOU has gone through consultations with various government agencies such as MFAET, MPGIS, PRC, MPG executive and MPG’s HoDs for inputs.

Fini said the outcome was a carefully crafted sister-relationship between Malaita and Jiangsu based on mutual respect, tolerance, understanding, resource-sharing, knowledge, skills, technologies and learning.

Below are the fabrics for the establishment of the sister relationship;

  • Establish trade sister relationship on commodities such as coconut, cocoa, beche-der-mer, fish and other commercial commodities. Through the sister relationship, farmers, fishermen and women can export their commodities to Jiangsu province.
  • Establishment of scientific institutions where Jiangsu scientist can share their knowledge in improving current commodities to improve its yielding capacity to increase production.
  • To provide training on agriculture production lines, skills and knowledge transfer on agriculture and fisheries. My government will negotiate with Jiangsu province to establish a scientific agriculture and fisheries with a Malaita Institute so that training can be provided in the institution.
  • To support Malaita with appropriate technology in areas of production, agriculture, fisheries, factory development, downstream processing and packaging.
  • To support Malaita in infrastructure development such as factory establishment, equipment, telecommunication, and other infrastructures supporting growth.
  • To financially support Malaita in form of grant for the four sister relationship projects.  

According to premier Fini, the MOU is an important platform that will create meaningful engagement between the two provinces.

He explained that the sister relationship was designed to get Malaita out of its economic miseries by providing an equal platform of engagement based on mutual respects in providing the needs of each other.

Fini furthered that it was not design to exploit the good relationship between the two provinces, but to help each other to grow and prosperous under the relationship.

Moreover, he said for the purpose of establishing the MOU, his government operates within the frame of the Provincial Government act, especially section 29/30.

Fini also clarified that major infrastructure, forestry, mining or acquisition of land is not our responsibility to deal with, mean it’s not in the interest of the MOU.

He said the MOU is limited to a sister relationship as defined by the PG act.

“My government will respect the Malaita people and will do things within the frame of what is best for them.

“My government cannot put Malaita at risk. Our aim, purpose and intention are to create a stable environment where peace and trust exists for positive development for all Malaitans,” Fini said.


A representative of Win Win company presents the $350,000 cheque in the envelope to one of the landowners at Turarana, Central Guadalcanal, Michael Kelly at Henderson Police station on Wednesday.

Resolution reached with landowners as mining company resumes operation


After a three-week hiatus in its alluvial mining operations in Turarana, Central Guadalcanal, Win Win Mining Investment Company Ltd has successfully resumed activities following a dispute with local landowners.

The suspension was prompted by landowners’ roadblocks and their demand for compensation due to noise pollution resulting from the mining operation.

A significant breakthrough was achieved on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, as Win Win Mining and the landowners came to an agreement at the Henderson Police Station.

This resolution represents a positive step towards mending the working relationship between the mining company and the local community.

As a goodwill gesture subsequent to the dispute resolution, Win Win Mining made a substantial payment of $350,000 to the landowners, which they will distribute among their families.

This compensation serves as a recognition of the landowners’ understanding and willingness to resolve the standoff.

Charles Meke, one of the local directors at Win Win, expressed his gratitude to the landowners for their cooperation in finding a mutually beneficial solution.

He underscored the Turarana mining project’s significance, comparing it to major mining operations such as Gold Ridge and others in Isabel Province.

Meke highlighted the project’s crucial role in contributing to the national economy through gold production.

Meke further clarified that the company operates within the noise level limits of 70, as prescribed by Environmental law.

He noted that if the mining operation exceeds this noise threshold, the Ministry of Environment has the authority to halt the operation.

Additionally, Meke expressed his hope that similar disputes would not arise in the future.

He reassured the landowners of Win Win Mining’s commitment to working collaboratively to ensure the smooth operation of the mining project.

Chief Michael Kelly, a traditional chief of the Turarana Cultural Centre in Central Guadalcanal, extended his gratitude to Win Win Mining for the goodwill payment.

He specified that the money would be distributed among the families based on an established list.

With the successful resolution of the dispute, the Criminal Investigation Department has chosen to temporarily suspend the case.

This decision allows for the resumption of mining operations and the cultivation of a more harmonious relationship between the company and the local landowners.

The parties involved are now working towards a more cooperative and productive future for the mining project in Turarana.

Latest Stories

South Road next month

BY SAMIE WAIKORI MAINTENANCE work for Malaita’s South Road that connects Auki town to West Kwaio as far as Hauhui in West Are Are is...


Premiers briefed on Malaita’s amended ordinance on Forest Business Licence BY JENNIFER KUSAPA MALAITA province has shared with other provinces its amended Forest Business Licence ordinance,...

Pirione urges premiers to fully contribute to PGA review

BY JENNIFER KUSAPA PERMANENT Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Government Stanely Pirione has urged premiers to actively participate in the review of the Provincial...

Team Solo faced with meal card shortage as some entertain ‘friends and family’

BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO TEAM Solomon encountered a shortage of meal cards for athletes, coaches and team managers earlier this week. This was reportedly due to...

SI Netball Coach lauds Team’s performance

BY INDY MAEALASIA SOLOMON Islands Netball’s Coach is confident that her team has greatly improved despite suffering a heavy loss to Fiji 25:90 at...




overcast clouds
26.5 ° C
26.5 °
26.5 °
89 %
90 %
28 °
31 °
30 °
27 °
27 °

Exchange Rate

USD - United States Dollar