[Documents menu]History of Melanesia
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 1995 19:54:46 -0500
Sender: "NATIVE-L Aboriginal Peoples: news & information" <NATIVE-L@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>
From: rainfor.general@gnosys.svle.ma.us
Subject: Pavuvu, Solomon Islands
Original Sender: dse@pactok.peg.apc.org

Pavuvu logging starts despite wide opposition

From the Solomon Star (dse@pactok.peg.apc.org)
10 May 1995

The following article is copied from today's (10th May) Solomon Star.

Maving Brothers' logging operation on Pavuvu Islands has gone ahead despite appeals by the Russell Islands, The Leader of the Opposition and environmental groups for the government to scrap it.

"This is a national disgrace," said the head of Greenpeace in Solomon Islands, Philip Pupuka.

The government has clearly demonstrated in this issue that it does not care about the wishes of the people, but cares about the Malaysian logging company's interests," he said.

Pupuka, who recently returned from Pavuvu Island said logging activities on the island were well under way and villagers had reported their first experience of pollution in their water catchment source of Kokoloan stream.

Villagers reported red soil in the once clear stream blamed the company's logging operation and road construction works.

Pupuka said the government's failure to compromise with the people of Russell Islands over the Pavuvu logging issue would definitely have a bad impact on the company in the near future.

He said he was barred by Police Field Force (PFF)officers and workers of Maving Brothers a logging company to enter and take photographs in some parts of Pavuvu Islands where the company is operating.

Recently, Russell Islanders expressed strong objections to the government's decision to grant Maving Brothers a logging licence for Pavuvu Island.

Their Objection was later reiterated by the national Paliament Leader of the Opposition, Sir Baddley Devesi, who appealed to government for an immediate cease to any logging activities on Pavuvu.

Devesi questioned the government's motive in pursuing the logging proposal when the indigenous people of the island strongly rejected it.

Solomon Star contact Maving Brothers management yesterday but was unable to reach any of the company's directors for comment.

In a statement issued by Greenpeace, environment campaigner Lawrence Makili said the government had deliberately deceived the people of Russells by claiming it had issued a suspension order over the Pavuvu logging issue, yet the company continued with its operations.

Recently a delegation from the Prime Minister's office visited Russell Island and held talks with the people there and on its return, the secretary to the Prime Minister confirmed issuing a suspenpension order," Makili said.

Logging operations on the islands are reported to be continuing with the first log shipment due at the end of this month.

"Greenpeace supports customary land rights of the indigenous Russell Islanders over Pavuvu Island and calls on the government to stand by the people and halt the logging," Makili said.

Solomon star contacted the Prime Minister's office yesterday, but was unable to reach the relevant spokesman to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, the recent government announcement that logging operations on Pavuvu Island were under suspension has led to conflicting statements from the Prime Minister's office and the Ministry of Forestry.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Forestry, it claimed it had no knowledge of the PM's office decision to suspend the Pavuvu Islands operation.

[World History Archives] [Gateway to World History] [Images from World History] [Hartford Web Publishing]