A new partnership road map between the Kolombangara Land Trust Foundation (KLTF) and the Government has been adopted in a communique signed at Imburano Eco-Lodge in the Highlands of Kolombangara last Friday.
This new partnership arrangement was sealed following consultations between the KLTF Executive and the Cabinet Sub-Committee on the Kolombangara Development Advisory Committee (KDAC) in the Prime Minister’s Office.
A KDAC team led by Chairman, Jimson Tanagada and the Permanent Secretary of Forest and Research, Vaeno Vigulu with support from the Cabinet Sub-Committee Secretariat visited Kolombangara over the weekend to consult the KLTF Executive and conducted field visits to forest plantation sites.
KLTF, incorporated under the Charitable Trust Act in 1992, represents the Kolombangara, Ghalavasa, Ngedoana, Viuru and Leanabako tribal groups.
One of the key outcomes of the Communique is a call on the Government to return all alienated lands on the island to be returned to KLTF as provided for under the Deed of Trust signed in 1992.
The parties resolved that all Perpetual Estate must be returned to the KLTF and that the Organisation shall be the only body that all Perpetual Estate shall be transferred to, and that any other Perpetual Estate that has been transferred to other parties must be rectified and transferred back to the KLTF.
Another significant outcome of the Communique is the call on the Government to transfer shares to KLTF or any corporate entity created for that purpose.
The parties resolved that 20 percent out of the 40 percent shares held by the Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands (ICSI) be transferred to the KLTF.
The Kolombangara Development Advisory Committee (KDAC) was established by Cabinet to provide advisory services to the KLTF in capacity building, strengthening of leadership, development of business arms, and strengthening of partnership with Stakeholders.
The KDAC is mandated to coordinate all government required obligations, activities, and ancillary rights to pursue outstanding issues with KFPL, customary landowners and the KLTF and with investors or shareholders of the Kolombangara Forest Products Limited.
The KDAC also aims to address all outstanding issues of the main stakeholders that have concerns on Kolombangara Forestry Plantation activities including KFPL, landowning tribes, KLTF and shareholders of KFPL.
Improving the business environment for KFPL through such intervention as the KDAC is strongly supported by the SIDCC government.
“The final outcome of the Consultation meeting with KLTF is expected to assist Government in mapping out its activities in addressing the issues and challenges faced in developing the forest resources of Kolombangara,” said Chairman of KDAC, Mr Tanagada.
Tanagada informed the KLTF Executive of the Government policy in relation to KDAC and its desire to address the challenges and issues facing the forest resources in Kolombangara.
Kolombangara Island in the Western province hosts one of the largest forestry plantations in the country, with three quarters of the Island being planted with different tree species.
The consultation team constitutes KDAC members, staff of the Cabinet Sub Committee Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office.