Foreign loggers must consider development aspirations of landowners

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BY SAMIE WAIKORI

Auki

A logging licence holder in Malaita province has called on all foreign logging companies operating in the province to work amicably with its licensees toward development aspirations of landowners.

In an interview yesterday, Peter Waikiri made the call following a missing link between contractors and licensees on addressing areas of interest for landowners in the province.

He said as experienced, landowners always become victims of any logging operation in the province as all benefits taken by the government and contractors.

Waikiri said apart from benefit distributions, cooperation between responsible partners in the business towards development for landowners is also missing.

“The point I want to stress is how contractors and licensees should work together to save the interest of the landowners.

“My experience proved to me that contractors only interest in areas of their benefits, and never at all consider interest of any party in the business.

“To be honest, I as a Solomon Islanders with the licence I have, I want to help develop my people with what I can in logging sector.

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“I at all time during the business, I fight for landowners so that I (licensee) and contractor to address some areas of interest for landowners.

“These may include, at least good road for landowners to use after the logging may leave, help for communal areas like, schools, clinics and churches,” he said.

Waikiri said all those things never work due to non-consideration by contractors to privileges for landowners.

He said he tried his best to work with contractors on those areas, but he found it hard. Because only what benefits the contractors is what at their interest.

Waikiri said they always don’t want to listen to licensees on areas of development under the business in the province.

He added that they also don’t mind about the privileges of licensees that on his/her behalf they have opportunity to work.

Waikiri said this is an area of concern for people in Malaita province and responsible government agencies must do something about it.

He raised that if government wants to allow foreign logging contractors to invest in the country, what development they expects them to do for the people in the country?

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