BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
THE massive loss of coastal marine seafood at nearby communities in the San George Island in Isabel province has raised concern amongst coastal communities.
Chief and Catechist Steven Tanihorara said many communities that depend entirely on marine foods for income and livelihood has been experiencing the loss due to logging activities.
“This is worrying for many communities because these are the resources people can utilize to meet their basic needs – it is the foundation of our livelihood and survival,’’ said Tanihorara.
Mr. Tanihorara disclosed to Environment media Solomon Islands in an exclusive interview that coastal seafood such as mud crab, shells, fish etc are vanishing due to logging activities on San George Island.
“Before logging invades our lands, our old people usually go to nearby mangroves or coast line to catch crabs, fish etc, they access those food sources easily compared to now.
“Drinking waters sources have also been contaminated, the sea and our lands which was once protected and preserved by our old grandfathers is also on the brink of destruction.
“Logging operations is continuously damaging these resources. Women have to walk far distance for clean drinking water, fishermen sometimes unable to return with any catches,’’ he said.
Chief Tanihorara said that in response to the challenges and without any government response, the communities and land owners had collaborated and stop the logging operations as of March this year.
“A stop work notice was issued from community elders from various communities affected and the company had stop their operation as of 1st March this year.
“Currently, the Logging operations on San George Islands in Isabel province has been put on halt due to what I have mentioned and some, over is land dispute,’’ he revealed.
Tanihorara has warned responsible government ministries that they only care about money and cannot step in to take action against issues faced by locals when it comes to logging.
The chief said that the government and its responsible ministries should not take these issues lightly and must take the lead in addressing the concern of the people in the grassroot level.
BY JOHN HOUANIHAU