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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Malaita Provincial government plans to do away with logging

By Moffat Mamu

Malaita Province is working towards stopping all logging operations on the province to protect its environment. The provincial premier Reuben Moli said logging caused great destruction to the province’s environment therefore, his government is now seeking to halt logging operations in the province.

“As a province our priority concern is to do away with logging completely in order to preserve what is left of our rain forest. This is vital for the conservation of our flora and fauna, rivers and waters and catchment areas. We have not found the solution yet but plans are underway to establish a specific policy strategic plan to carry out this task in partnership with land and resources owners,” Mr Moli said at the opening of Solomon Organic Centre in Auki last weekend.

Therefore, Mr Moli appealed to Cosmo Oil Company, which assisted in the establishment of Solomon Organic Centre and Asia Pacific Sustainable Development centre in Malaita, to assist in environment conservation.

“I wish to request assistance from Cosmo Oil to provide support for initial establishment of an environmental conservation office. Solomon Organic Centre focuses on producing organic manure for local farmers to use," Moli added.

According to Mr Moli, this is Malaita’s effort towards replacing subsistence farming.
Mr Moli said the promotion of organic farming is sustainable and part of conservation efforts to the environment and should replace subsistence farming.

“The promotion of organic farming is an alternative to the highly technological production systems of modern agriculture. It is an alternative because there is at the moment no farming system being evolved to replace the subsistence farming system, which is fast becoming a liability in terms of soil degradation due to the absence of the long forest fallow, and the gradual destruction of the rain forest and its flora and fauna through shifting cultivation,” he said.

He pointed out that this mode of organic farming can still support a large number of people and the growing population and should be encouraged. He said subsistence farming is a threat to the environment and food security.

“Although the subsistence farmer still feeds many mouths, he or she will need to have improve the present farming systems if he/she is to continue to feed the growing population in the face of depleting soil fertility, increase pest and diseases, loss of agricultural biodiversity, shortage of good food garden land and poor technical inputs. It is already a major threat to food security in parts of Malaita therefore the sooner it is addressed the better,” he said.

Source: Solomon Star

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