Gov’t took measures towards Sustainable Forest Management

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Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG) through the Ministry of Forestry and Research has taken a drastic step to ensure sustainable management of the remaining and growing forest is taken seriously.
That was the key message at the third Forest Sector Technical Working Group (FSTWG) meeting on 29th November 2018 in Honiara since its establishment early this year.
The meeting gathers relevant government organisations, international, regional and local non-government organisations, education institutions and industries experts purposely to share knowledge, skills and make updates on progresses into respective forest related activities.
Ministry of Forestry and Research Permanent Secretary, Dr Vaeno Vigulu in his opening remarks highlighted the importance of sustainable management, utilisation and rehabilitation of forest resources as paramount.
He says such continuous discussion and means to sustain the contribution of forest resources to the national economy, provision of ecosystem services and contribution of forest in addressing climate change must be encouraged and enhanced.
More importantly it presents another opportunity to strengthen collaboration with broader base applications of the principle of sustainable management of forest resources across the country through various undertakings, adds the Permanent Secretary.
“Todate, the harvest may be 3-4 times unsustainable compared to the recent recommended total target of 700,000m3 of annual sustainable cut for plantation and natural resources.
“The situation had lead the government to develop the newly endorsed ‘Sustainable Logging Policy’.
“This coincides with work on reviewing the Forestry Act and revising of the National Forest Policy that are near completion.”
Dr Vigulu says such measures taken, indicated the seriousness the current government has taken in considering ways to sustainably manage the forest resources.
For short-term priority policy areas, it encompassed promotion and encouragement of sustainable forest management, agroforestry systems, afforestation in the grassland, reforestation, enrichment and regeneration management in the logged over islands degraded and deforested landscapes, he adds.
“The government had also considered promoting non-timber forest products and aesthetic values of the island forests which covers approximately just less than 90 percent of the land mass to support livelihoods through eco-tourism to reduce reliance on timber products.
“That would mean reducing of further degradation of rainforests and promote sustainable forest resources management to progressively support the economy and national collaborative attempt in addressing climate change on the long term.”
PS Vigulu also acknowledge the past and present continuous support and collaborative efforts with the different stakeholders towards engagements on various strategies and activities of the priority policy area objectives of the government as fundamental to achieving a sustainable forest resource management approach.
It is on this very purpose that it enables the establishment of the technical working group, a platform for sharing of information by stakeholders and friends of forest.
Allowing for quick consultation and contribution from everybody to avoid repetition of activities or re-inventing the wheels, especially in research for development, production and added value products, says the Permanent Secretary.
“Without your continuous collaborations, some of the activities, achievements and assistance to communities would have not been possible.
“Especially in the many areas that have developed capacities, provision of logistics and technical know-how that enabled the Ministry to implement the priority policy area objectives of the government to assist resource owners.
“And continue to assist in rehabilitating the forest resources of this country and to come this far with tangible achievements.”

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Lynda Wate
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