Harvesting and exporting of prohibited Vitex trees reported in West Are’are Lagoon


Locals in the West Are’are lagoon have reported that a logging company is harvesting prohibited Vitex tree species and exporting them as round logs.

The Malaita provincial forestry office has condemned this alleged practice, supporting the call for the national ministry of Forest (MOFR) to make logging companies stop this illegal practice.

This issue was circulated on social media this week. A local took a photo of a barge allegedly loaded with round logs including the prohibited Vitex species.

The location of this loaded barge is believed to be at Wairokai.

Members of public believe that current laws and enforcement of forestry laws are weak.

The matter was brought to the provincial forestry office in Auki yesterday for clarification.

An officer explains that the country’s Forestry Act that regulates logging is very clear and loggers should not have excuses to involve in such illegal logging practices.

“These logging companies are operating in the country for decades and they’re well familiar with the act that regulates their business operation.

“That the vitex species and other local species like U’ula, Ngali tree, Tubi and others are prohibited for round log export.”

The provincial forestry office says it will send a team to the site this week to investigate the matter.

This is to see whether it is the intention of the company to export the vitex logs or assist landowners with the logs to Honiara for milling.

“And if it beyond what the team could do, only the commissioner and minister are in the position to direct orders when face with such situation,” the officer said.

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