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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

Forest Certification

Solomon Islands

solomon islands3
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
forest industry
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
stakeholders in forest logging industry
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
measures to control logging
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
ngo activities
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
initial support for certification
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
village based sawmilling vbs
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
organizations involved in certification
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

market impact
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
standard setting
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
solcert national standard
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
sief eco timber
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
road blocks challenges
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
certification issues
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
impact of certification
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
certification forestry problems
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
situation today
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
  • 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