Logging picks up in Malaita after decline

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Logging is reportedly picking up in Malaita province.

Last year saw a dramatic decline to logging in Malaita thanks to covid-19.

Following 21 logging operations reported in the province in the beginning of 2020, only seven survived.

However, reports say logging is slowly picking up again, with three operations bound to start this year.

These three are reportedly in their timber rights hearing stage.

Officer in charge of the Provincial Reforestation office in Auki, Mr Ronnie Aiwewe said there are more logging operation applications pending for Malaita.

“More to come,” he says.

In 2019, this paper reported up to 20 logging operations in the province, the highest number of logging operations in any province in the country at that time.

In the beginning of 2020, it climbed to 21 operations before dropping down to seven by the end of the year.

Aiwewe confirmed to this paper yesterday that three new operations are expected in the province soon and applications for new operations pending.

He said the three new operations are now into their timber rights hearing stage.

Aiwewe said one for Wairokai in west Are Are, another for Masupa in east Are Are, and the third one for west Kwaio.

For the current seven active operations, one in East Are Are, three in Small Malaita, and the other three in West Kwaio.

Saying the operations is within the central and southern regions of the province, particularly from west Kwaio to south Malaita and East Are Are.

Aiwewe explained that the main reason for decline of logging in the province last year was covid-19.

He said there are other reasons such as disputes and even MARA government’s firm stand against logging operations in the province.