Action Alert--Solomon Islands to Allow Logging on "Alientated" Lands  


Forest Networking a Project of Ecological Enterprises  




The Pactok project reports that through a legal loophole; up to   

10% of the relatively tiny Solomon Islands may be logged.    

Addresses for letters of protest are at the end.  This item was   

posted in econet's rainfor.general conference.  





/** rainfor.genera: 155.0 **/  

** Topic: Solomon Islands **  

** Written  8:12 PM  Mar 18, 1995 by robg@pactok.peg.apc.org in   

cdp:rainfor.genera **  

 * Originally by dse, 90:677/103@Pactok  

 * Originally to robg, 90:900/990  

 * Originally dated 17 Feb 1995, 14:12  


This week there have been two stories in the "Solomon Star"  

about logging of "alienated" land. Solomon Islands has a unique   

land tenure system, with about 90% of land being customarily   

owned. However in the early 1900s the British Government who were   

the colonial power at the time, gave various tracts of land to   

plantation companies such as Lever Brothers.  


Two areas which were alienated are Vaghena island in Choiseul   

Province and Pavuvu Island in Central Province. Later in the 1960s   

the British resttled Gilbertese people to Solomon islands and gave   

them land in Vaghena. The original landowners of Vaghena are the   

Volaikana tribe, who still own a large area of Southern Choiseul.   

They are remarkably tolerant of the Gilbertese settlers who, being   

in effect landless, have resorted to chronic over-exploitation of   

saleable marine resources around Vaghena.  


Now the Volaikana see that the governing Solomon Islands National   

Unity and Reconciliation Party under Prime Minister Solomon    

Mamaloni want to over-exploit land that is rightfully theirs. The   

government have invited a foreign logging company "National Mutual   

Ltd" to log Vaghena. There have been no negotiations with the   

Volaikana or Gilbertese.  As well as not benefitting financially,   

the Volaikana are distressed by the potential danger to their   

sacred ("tambu") sites and their "canoe trees" which they travel   

to Vaghena to fell for dugouts. Pavuvu island is a similar story.   

It was given to Levers at the beginning of this century.  


Recently Levers have returned the land. However instead of   

correcting the mistakes of the British, the present government   

wants to log the island before giving it back to the landowners.   

The foreign logging company and the government will have several   

million dollars to share, but what about the landowners? A few   

muddy roads and a clinic if they're lucky.  


If you can help with these issues in any way please do so.  

Letters/faxes to the PM and Minister for Forests expressing your   

concern would be useful. Please copy to us. Addresses below:  


Hon Prime Minister Solomon Mamaloni  

Office of Prime Minister  

PO box G1  


Solomon Islands  


Fax 677 21608  


Hon Alan Kamakeza  

Ministry of Forestry, Environment and Conservation  

PO Box G24  


Solomon Islands  


Fax 677 21245  


Development Services Exchange  

PO box 556  


Solomon Islands  


fax 677 21339  



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