BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
THE Central provincial government is embarking on a number of policy papers trying to translate to the policy paper of land partnership in order to have access to land with landowners.
This follows what will happen after the banning of logging in Ngella comes into place.
Second is the diversification of tourism by revitalising on it, as well as other private sector economic activities.
But the focus is on tourism according to Central Islands Province (CIP) Provincial Secretary (PS), Christian Siale.
He said even Forestry but on a reafforestation approach.
“We just had an approval from the Ministry of Forestry by the Permanent Secretary (PS) himself and the Director of Reafforestation. They have accepted the program to be situated at Maleali government registered land,” said the PS.
“There will be about three to four hectares which will accommodate a nursery station, research centre and will have two Staff housing, a dormitory and a classroom as that will form the basis where the Forestry will do a lot of native species trials on Maleali land.
“It will also be a source of revenue for the province in the sales of seedlings to other provinces as well as to reafforestation programs within CIP.
“The focus now is after all this logging through all these years, replanting is to take place.”
PS Siale said the slogan is “Invest in Trees” for the future.
“Trees will become a highly priced commodity within a range starting from five (5) to (6) years time. There will be a highly price depending on the species.”
CIP’s provincial government is looking ahead to liaising with the Ministry of Forestry as already there is a green light according to the PS.
“On that, hopefully to be funded by bilateral arrangements as the understanding of the province is most of provincial forestry projects are funded by KOICA and JICA,” said the PS
He assured that reafforestation is a sun rise industry.
“Based on these indicators and road map, this is where the province is heading in trying to utilise the forestry sector in not so much encouraging logging but reafforestation and investing trees establishing community plantations for the benefit of CIP and the rural as an alternative to the ban of logging,” said Siale.
“As well as the forestry sector, we are eying the tourism sector as an Australian Volunteers International (AVI) being a qualified cultural and tourism mentor is already working on some documents being assisted by the Tourism Division in Tulaghi that will be later linked to markets and other areas, as it is expected for the AVI to meet with some stakeholders this week in Honiara to arrange in reviving transport service to Tulaghi and also products and activities there.
“The focus now is at Tulaghi to set the platform as a pull factor of distributions to the smaller eco set-ups around the islands, but that is where the province is at the moment in terms of building connections and so as first things first to be done.”
PS Siale added that linking up network of eco set-ups will enable source of revenue for the rural population.
However, the PS also made mention that the province is optimistic regardless of the banning of logging.
“I think if the right infrastructures are in place being the services are conducive to whatever industry in the province, it should be okay,” said the PS.