“Untouchable” forest of the Solomon Islands may disappear in the next 20 years – news ZIK.UA

«Недоторкані» ліси Соломонових островів можуть зникнути протягом наступних 20 років – новини ZIK.UA

According to activists, unstable and potentially illegal cutting of forests on remote Pacific Islands can devastate their natural resources over the next 20 years.

Most travel guides describe the Solomon Islands, as the “untouchables”, however, the new report of the international NGO Global Witness showed that this is not so, – informs edition the Independent.

One of the poorest countries in the Pacific region, Solomon Islands has an economy that is highly dependent on the forest sector.

Despite this dependence, the report recently released by the Ministry of Finance of Solomon Islands, stated that if deforestation will continue at the current pace, forests will be gone by 2036.

In 2017, the Islands exported more than 3 million cubic meters of wood, which, according to experts, nearly 20 times higher than the annual harvest.

For many years both national and international institutions expressed concern about the fact that the government of this tiny nation is unable to provide proper enforcement of laws preventing illegal deforestation, especially in remote regions of the country.

Global Witness has used satellite images and photos from drones to determine the rate of logging in Solomon Islands. The image showed a huge area deforested lands, as well as more than 12 000 km of logging roads, crossing the territory of this tiny nation.

In its report, Global Witness noted that the main fault for this lies with China. Solomon Islands are the second largest after Papua New Guinea as supplier of tropical timber to China, the great Asian power that does not require any checks on the legality of the import.

As the investigation revealed, this increases the risk that logging companies do not require permission from the local landowners and not trying to avoid prohibited areas, which in turn, means that part of the wood supplied is illegal.

The organization called on China to introduce strict checking of the wood coming from the Solomon Islands, because there is a risk of serious harm to the environment of the Islands – the loss of a vital absorber of carbon dioxide, which helps mitigate climate change.

The English translation of Oksana Vergeles, IA ZIK

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