Guadalcanal Province has given a ‘stop notice’ to logging giants Sino Capital after it was discovered that they don’t have “timber rights” to carry out logging on Guadalcanal.
Guadalcanal Province was unable to locate their timber rights records so as the Ministry of Forestry & Research of the loggers.
“We don’t have any timber rights records for the company so do as the Ministry of Forest,” Premier of Guadalcanal Daniel Sade exclusively told SBMOnline this afternoon.
“After we realised that they don’t have the timber rights record with us— we issued them with a stop notice,” he said today.
A lawyer who deals with logging issues told SBMOnline that the company could be operating on a fake timber rights.
Timber rights are the rights to log trees, and to do other activities on land related to logging. The rights are given to logging companies after Timber Rights Meetings or hearings.
Under the process, the Provincial Government sets a date for a Timber Rights Meeting within one month of receiving the Form 1 Application from the Applicant (Licensee). It is the only formal opportunity for the customary landowners to be consulted.
The lawyer said the process is a public one and there are usually public notices for all parties to attend the hearing before a decision is taken.
“Therefore it is surprsing that the company does not have a timber rights record,” the lawyer, says.
The finding means that the company had been operating illegally in the country.
This means that Sino Capital will have to cease its operations in Valasi, Longu, Kolokarako and Paripao.
Only this week the former minister of forestry Commins Mewa had been removed from the ministry.