Landing craft ran aground in Isabel

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A landing craft belonging to a logging company ran aground at the Haevo reef in Isabel province last week.

Isabel Provincial Secretary John Lokumana confirmed to this paper that the province has been made aware of the incident, but adds that there has been no complaint raised to the province on the matter.

He said the craft had later been towed to Buala, where it is anchored.

He said the province understands that the Landing Craft belongs to a logging company with interests on the Haevo area, but is without a timber-right approval for operations there.

Lokumana said there was a Timber Right Hearing held for that particular area, but was rejected due to the reason that the area is a conservation area.

Lokumana said landowners appealed this to the Customary Land Appeal Court (CLAC), but CLAC upheld the Provincial Government’s decision and dismissed the appeal made by the landowners and the company.

“However, the people there are saying that they are the landowners and it was the people who wanted the logging company to enter,” Lokumana said.

Lokumana said the province was not aware about the logging company entering Isabel, only learning of it when the landing craft ran aground.

Lokumana said they are still waiting on any formal complaint from the communities and surrounding areas about that incident before the province can act.

He also said another application for Timber Right hearing from the same party has just been submitted to the province regarding that area and the province is yet to set a date for hearing.