Civil society consulted on Forestry Act review

THE SIDCC Government through the Ministry of Forest and Research (MOFR) yesterday consulted the civil society groups, non-government organisations and national private sector organisations including commercial banks and education institution representatives on its ongoing consultation to review the current Forest Resources and Utilisation Act (FRTUA).

Some of those in attendance are, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Solomon Islands Environmental Law Association (SIELA), Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), Honiara Council of Women (HCW), Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SICCI), Family Support Centre, Development Service Exchange (DSE), Solomon Islands PYFAC, Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI), Law Reform Commission, Oxfam, Solomon Islands, Commonwealth Youth Council, Solomon Islands National University (SINU), World Wide Fund (WWF), Ecological Solutions Solomon Islands (ESSI), Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership (SICCP) and Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC).

The one-day consultation took place at the SIBC conference room.

Permanent Secretary, Dr Vaeno Vigulu thanked all organisations and individuals who have responded positively with seriousness to help review one of the outdate Acts – the Forest Resources and Timber Utilisation Act 1969.

“Your constructive views and ideas as contributions towards this ongoing review are valuable and fundamental to governing the management, utilisation, rehabilitation and protection of our forest resources especially timber.

“However, there is still room for improvement to fully manage and regulate the forest resources of our country given the experiences and shortfalls faced.”

He says thus it is fitting that the review has come about to address the gaps and missing links that have long been utilised by businesses and individuals to their own gains and advantages.

In many instances, resource owners and landowners were sidelined with minimum benefits reaped, and degradation of their forest resources, riparian buffer zones and landscapes, pollution of drinking water and siltation of shorelines.

As such the previous DCCG and the predecessor, SIDCC Government has seen the need to review the current Forestry Act as it has aged, with priority getting it into parliament this year, said the Permanent Secretary.

“Your contributions of constructive views and ideas are of importance in this regard.”

All provinces of Solomon Islands have been consulted in this review process with the remaining consultations to be with relevant stakeholders.

As such the Ministry of Forest and Research still welcome any constructive ideas from the public to be delivered and put in at a drop box at its office at Lengakiki.

Anticipation is for the bill to go before parliament by June sitting.



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