BY LESLEY FOINAGWA
The negative impact of continued forest logging activities on rural communities in West Kwaio in the Malaita province has taken an unprecedented level of extensive damage to the existing environment and natural resources.
There is evidence of logging that has a bigger and negative impact on agriculture causing land and river pollutions.
Local villager, Charles Du’abo estimated that the impact of logging in this instance, has caused forest desertification, soil erosion and infertility, threatened the natural fauna and flora (wildlife and plants), damaged forest bio-diversity and caused pollution to existing river habitats.
He said although logging has a direct positive effect on the local economy and employment opportunities. To some extent, it has also caused social divisions and family problems in the communities.
“Taking this into account, it is relevant to understand the concept of development and the negative social and environmental impacts of commercial logging on the livelihood of families and rural communities in the West Kwaio region of Malaita province.
“The national, provincial government, landowners, chiefs and elders need to be actively involved in providing sufficient basic facilities and discuss relevant recommendations that could improve the rural communities’ state of wellbeing.
“It is also important to understand the needs and wants of the rural communities from the communities’ perspective,” Charles said.
The Malaita provincial government has recently announced that it has collected SBD 2.1 million from logging company operations in the province in its 2020 revenue collection.