The GPG Forestry team which was led by Minister for Forestry, Ishmael Kukiti, had completed its first leg of logging auditing and monitoring in East Guadalcanal yesterday.
The GPG Forestry team visited five logging company camps namely Valepelo Company, Bulona- Kaoka camp, Valepelo- Kuvamiti Camp, Makolu- Viru Camp, Earth Mover Camp.
The team mainly did operations field auditing and monitoring of business liecense, 10% checked on logs ready for export, and other compliance areas. Some of the logging companies’ documents will be provided at the head office in Honiara for each company.
Speaking to GP Media today, Minister Ishmael Kukiti says that he is really happy to lead the team.
“As a Minister of Forestry, I’m really happy that our Province supports this activity. This is a first of its kind. Its important that we actually meet and talk with the companies’ managers. They are our business partners and it is important to create mutual understanding between them” Minister Kukiti states.
On the other hand, he explains “Importantly, our landowners need to know and value their rights on the resources how they should fully benefit from their resources”.
He adds, “From the companies already visited, it was interesting to see the different challenges face by each company, landowners, employees, and the communities around.”
He concludes that the GPG Forestry team will do environmental impact assessments (EIA) on all logging sites later this year.
“My Division also plans to carry out EIAs on the camps visited sometimes this year. This is to ensure that the logging companies comply with the ‘Code of Logging Practices'” Minister Kukiti concludes.
The GPG Forestry team receives a lot positive feedback from the Guadalcanal public for the first ever field auditing and monitoring exercise. They also thanked the Sade Government for the leadership.
They will continue on to Northeast Guadalcanal next to audit and monitor the Bakanalavo, Nego Timber Enterprise, and Gallego Resources Limited. They will then visit other logging camps in West Guadalcanal in the following week.