Success Logs Again

Success Company has applied to log above 400m on Lots 1, 9 and 10, south Kolombangara Island. It submitted a Public Environmental Report (PER) in Feb and KIBCA objected to it.

KIBCA objected because of poor consultation and a poor report.  Success Company submitted the PER to the Ministry of Environment after the High Court of Solomon Islands ordered it to carry out the study. Only then can environment ministerial approval and development consent be granted.

Firstly, Success Company failed because of very poor consultation. According to the Act all communities that will be very likely affected by the operation should be informed about the public hearing. In this case, this is the communities from Ghatere, Pine, Kunda, Kena, Korare, Kuzi, Kaza and surrounding villages. Only one meeting was held, at Kaza, and only a handful of people were present, in particular those that are supporting logging. Most other villages weren’t told.

Secondly, the content of the report is misleading and poor. The consultant engaged to write the report does not visit the actual sites before writing his report. He only spent a day in the area which is not enough to reach a conclusion, especially when the three lots cover more than 2,000ha.

The report also overstates that the three lots have more than a million cubic meters of log available. Lots 9 and 10 have recently been surveyed by KFPL for an EU funded project. This found that these lots have been partly logged and are now mostly secondary forest of <40cm dbh. Good timber stands can only be found in areas >30 degree  slope.

Finally it is disappointing that the Environment Ministry does not have a strong position about stopping logging above 400m or operations that are incompatible with its own environmental laws and policies.

KIBCA has written an objection to the report. It recommends two options, either redo the consultation process with a more detailed assessment or reject the company’s application.