Guadalcanal to get tough on logging

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Ishmael Kukiti speaking during the motion of Sine Die
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GUADALCANAL Province will get tougher on logging issues this year.

It will also limit the number of logging companies operating in the province.

The province’s Minister for Forestry and Mining, Ishmael Kukiti, revealed this in his contribution to the Sine Die motion Tuesday this week.

More than 20 logging companies – including licensees and contractors – have been operating on Guadalcanal since 2015.

Licences of some of the loggers and contractors are expired to expire sometimes this year.

Kukiti said his ministry will be closely monitoring all logging business licences, and also environmental impacts once the relevant ordinances are assented.

“The Government for Inclusive Change and Sustainable Development (GICSD) had started mid last year to do background checks on these logging companies, one of which is the SINO Capital Ltd case (now in High Court),” Kukiti said.

“We are also looking at limiting the number of logging companies operating on Guadalcanal,” he added.

“We aim to pass an ordinance that would control the negative environmental impacts due to logging activities.”

Despite efforts by a number of provinces to limit logging, the national government continues to issue logging licences one after the other.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry Vaeno Vigulu told the Public Accounts Committee last week his ministry has issued 435 licences to logging companies operating across the country.

These include 281 valid licences and 154 operation licences.