BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
THE logging development in Solomon Islands is real and poses danger to the common needs of community people, according to Hilary Wemani.
Mr Wemani is Japan’s International Corporation Agency (JICA) Sustainable Forest Resources Management (SFRM) promoter in Honiara.
He echoed this during a visit to the SFRM pilot site in Komuniboli, Guadalcanal.
“The threat to Forest Environment by logging development in Solomon Islands is real and poses danger to the common needs of community people throughout this nation as forest environment is where we get our basic need from like clean water, food, timber for shelter,” he said.
Wemani said from 2006 to 2011 the average annual log report volume was about 1.45millon m3 ,and this is estimated to be 20 percent of revenue from exported products to the country’s economy.
“Even this is so, the sustainability is being threatened by the decrease in natural forest resources and damage to forest environment creating more challenges to community members in the rural area,” he said.
He said through bilateral collaboration and discussions, the Solomon Islands government requested assistance from the Japanese government to formulate a model for SFRM an alternative forest development approach. And so the agreement was signed between the two parties JICA and Ministry of Forestry and Research in 2017.
“By displaying the reality in the field on the map, the pilot site community could conveniently identify current situation on the current land use map and create their future dreams on future land use map.
“This community could now share the idea of alternative ways to forest development than logging development,”Wemani said.
Dr Nishikawa Tatsuji, Chief Advisor., JICA SFRM in Solomon Islands said the forest provides innumerous ecosystem services, such as timber and no-timber forest products, cultural services and water regulations to local communities.
“Again, profits from forests have not been limited to those from timber, but there is also economical income from non-timber forest products and emissions trading and forest ecosystems would be also derived many profits.
Moreover, the country currently relies on the forest sector as the key contributor to government receipts, export and growth actually. And, this economic aspect has significant impact on sustainable forest resources management in Solomon Islands,” Tatsuji said.