Resource owners’ body questions Gov’t on its proposal

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BY SAMIE WAIKORI

in Auki

MEMBERS of the Solomon Islands Forest Resources Owners Association (SIFROA) are questioning the national government (SIDCCG) on the status of their proposal.

SIFROA, a body of resource-extractive licence holders, made the query following a proposal given to the former national government, the DCCG in 2017 for assistance.

A member of the association, Mr Peter Waikiri said during the Sogavare-led government, SIFROA submitted a proposal in an interest of dialogue between the PMO and SIFROA executive.

Adding that the area surrounding the proposal is on protecting the resource owners’ interest in the logging industry in the country.

He said the aim of the proposal for dialogue includes, 1) Forest Sustainable Development (resource replenishment), 2) Forest Improvement Benefit Determination and Product Development (profit sharing and downstream processing).

3) Forest Markets (pricing) and Marketing Development (transparent log marketing enactment) and 4) Economic Opportunity Conversion and Creation (allied private sector oriented growth).

According to a copy of the proposal obtained by this paper, SIFROA considers these areas; timber (forestry) Industry, round log economy and SI national forestry act.

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Another area of great concern is round log business in SI which covers areas of milling quota, reforestation levies/fees, profit sharing arrangement and markets and marketing.

The alarm is SFA was a stake holder of the logging industry in the country, where it exists as a body coordinating the business interest of all logging contractors.

“They own the money and machineries. Because of this SFA is a one-way traffic that promotes and protects the interest of the industry’s one key player only.

“Their goals are clear which purely profit driven. They move in, get the money, sit down, but one day they will move out.

“We glad for them, however their national status as offshore investors assures that one day they will leave with all wealth they accumulated from the industry,” said the proposal.

The statement also said that the welfare and rights of Forest Resource Owners were not reflected in SFA and were downplayed ever since. That left resource owners silently crying in their heart and had lived this for ages.

It was with these understanding that SIFROA initiated the association and intended for an integral timber industry reform and rescue strategy that will belongs to resource owners nationwide.

However, Waikiri appealed upon the national government for consideration on the proposal, so they can work toward protecting the interest of resource owners in logging industry in the country.

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