Chief of Sulukokolo Land Calls for Cancellation of Logging License


Chief John Marawa of Sulukokolo land in South Malaita has urged the Minister of Forestry and Research to cancel the felling license of Southern Enterprises Sawmilling.

This request comes in the wake of allegations that the company, a licensee of Graceland Logging Company Limited, engaged in illegal logging on Sulukokolo’s customary land.

Southern Enterprises Sawmilling claimed to have obtained an access agreement with George Kio, who was appointed as the ‘caretaker’ of Sulukokolo land in the absence of the Complainant party. However, Chief Marawa denied granting any such consent or authority to George Kio.

Chief Marawa also raised concerns about the legitimacy of the company’s license, as the Malaita Province and the Ministry of Forestry and Research could not locate the company’s file.

He called on the Ministry to investigate the company’s logging operations, alleging that they did not follow the proper Ministry’s processes.

“Every person involved with Southern Enterprise Sawmilling used the same form for logging, including their operations on Sulukokolo land,” Chief Marawa noted, expressing worry about the environmental damage caused by their activities.

Chief Marawa appealed to Minister Mua to cancel the company’s license, stating that failure to do so would condone corruption.

Additionally, Chief Marawa urged the Malaita Province Executive to write to Grace Logging Company, requesting that they cease operations in Small Malaita, as their practices appear to be illegal within the province’s jurisdiction.

Minister Mua has decided to defer the suspension of Southern Enterprise Sawmilling’s felling license A10112 under Section 39(2) of the Forest Resources and Timber Utilization Act. This decision is contingent upon the resolution of the encroachment issue on Sulukokolo customary lands between the Appellant and Grace Logging (SI) Limited. The Minister assures all parties that this decision is made with fairness and justice in mind, allowing for disputes to be resolved and all parties’ interests to be considered.

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