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Forest Certification. Solomon Islands . Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands. Total land area: 27,000 sq km dispersed over 800,000 sq km of sea Number of islands : 996 of which 350 are inhabited 90% of land under customary land ownership Population: 410,000 (386,000 in the village)

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Forest Certification

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Forest Certification

Solomon Islands


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Solomon Islands


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Solomon Islands

  • Total land area: 27,000 sq km dispersed over 800,000 sq km of sea

  • Number of islands : 996 of which 350 are inhabited

  • 90% of land under customary land ownership

  • Population: 410,000 (386,000 in the village)

  • Main Exports – Logs, fish, copra, cocoa

  • GDP per capita - US$450

  • Independence in 1978 with Westminster-style Parliamentary democracy

  • Three tiers government – Central, Provincial & Area Council


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Forest Industry

  • Major economic activity – export of round logs (80% of foreign exchange earnings)

  • Dominated by foreign logging companies some in partnership with local landowner companies

  • Current commercial natural forest area – 560,000 ha

  • Current rate of forest cut – 700,000 m3 / yr

  • Sustainable cut – 200 000 m3 / yr

  • Predicted national wood flow from natural forests will be exhausted by year 2018

  • Current markets are insensitive to forest certification


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Stakeholders in Forest Logging Industry

  • Landowners - own the trees and grant timber rights

  • Logging companies (Foreign and Local) – apply for timber rights

  • Government – issue timber right license under Forest Resources and Timber Utilization Act 1970


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Measures to Control Logging

  • Government

  • - Code of logging practice 2002

  • - Review of Forestry Act 2004 (in daft)

  • - Encourages plantation forestry

  • NGO’s/Landowners

  • - Awareness

  • - Community Forestry (saw milling & sustainable harvesting)

  • - Certification


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NGO Activities

  • Environmental conservation and environmental awareness

  • Village based eco-forestry involving selective harvesting and sawmilling

  • Marketing of processed forest products

  • Support for other village based and managed activities including eco-tourism, Non Timber Products and butterfly farming


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Initial support for certification

  • Support for forest certification came from NGO’s

  • - Unsustainable logging & land degradation,

    - Conflict among landowners

    - Logging undermines traditional economies, values and adversely affects the livelihoods of people

  • NGO’s & Landowners wants control logging activities, sustainable harvesting and maximum return from forest use

  • Little or no support from government


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Village Based Sawmilling (VBS)

  • NGO’s encouraged & promoted VBS among landowners prior to emergence of certification

  • Landowners benefited through employment and income

  • More interest and adoption of VBS among Landowners

  • NGO’s built on VBS to promote certification

  • Extra and heavy workload associated with certification discouraged landowners


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Organizations involved in certification

• NGO’s - Solomon Western Island Fair Trade (SWIFT) – FSC

- Soltrust - FSC

- Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT) – Eco-timber

- Natural Resources Development Foundation (NRDF) – Eco-timber

• Landowners

• Kolombangara Forest Products Limited (KFPL) - FSC

• No Government involvement


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Market Impact

  • Higher price led to interest in certification by Landowners

  • NGO’s used reliable market outlets and higher price to promote certification

  • KFPL used certification because of the market demand and premium price for certified logs

  • Landowners did not produce consistently to maintain a regular supply to meet market demand. Landowners or timber producers only produced timber when they needed money


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Standard Setting

  • Soltrust developed its FAMP in partnership with landowners using FSC principles & Criteria to meet local needs

  • SWIFT’s whole forest management system was set up by forestry experts from Holland

  • SIEF developed Eco-timber standard in collaboration with ITTG (Market), Greenpeace, landowners


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SOLCERT- National Standard

  • Process initiated 1996/97 with the aim of defining a national FSC standard for community forestry

  • Formed in 1998 by with membership from NGO’s, Government and Forest Industry Association

  • Coordinate all certification related work among all stakeholders and set national standards.

  • Did not function as expected due to lack of coordination between the members and has remained ineffective since its formation in 1998


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SIEF eco-timber

  • Timber producers did not comply well with FAMP’s developed according to FSC standards.

  • Lessons learned forced SIEF to develop SIEF eco-timber (2nd party eco-timber verification)

  • SIEF eco-timber takes communities or producers step-by-step towards FSC standards; it’s a first step towards FSC certification

  • High cost of certification under FSC


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Road blocks & Challenges

  • Lack of awareness or knowledge among government authorities/decision makers & Landowners

  • Lack of government support for certification

  • Higher cost of certification

  • Heavy manual work involved

  • Landowners are not in a position to take up certification on their own

  • NGO’s programs are dependent on external funding


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Certification Issues

  • Certification of forest under customary ownership is the option for Solomon Islands (90 % of land under customary ownership)

  • No initiative from landowners - rely NGO’s who initially introduced and promoted certification

  • When NGO’s programs stopped, timber producers also stopped production

  • Government is not doing its part in promoting certification to support NGO’s


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Impact of certification

  • Some impact at community level

  • - logging stop in certain areas

  • - Build capacity, provide employment and income

  • No impact at national level

  • - no action and policy change


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Certification & Forestry Problems

  • Problems

  • - Unsustainable and illegal extraction of forest through logging

  • - Deforestation and loss of biodiversity through logging, shifting cultivation and forest clearance for plantation agriculture

  • Certification is not effectively addressing these forest problems at the present time


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Situation today

  • Soltrust & SWIFT ceased operation in 2000 and 2001

  • SIDT (SIEF) in operation with 16,000 ha under its eco-timber program

  • NRDF started in 2003 using SIEF eco-timber label

  • KFPL only FSC certified has 40,000 ha of forest and plantation certified.

  • Foreign logging companies are well aware of certification but see it as an unnecessary business cost. Not until buyers/markets demand certified product will they change this position or SIG make it mandatory which is most unlikely. No body is pressing logging companies to adopt forest certification


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Future

  • Commitment from government, NGO’s, donor funding and markets for certification

  • Education Awareness among landowners to appreciate the direct benefit of certification and become proactive

  • Policy change from government push for certification on forest concession areas


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