It’s a crisis on an alarming scale. Logging on the Solomon Islands has resulted in trees cut down at four times the sustainable rate, with the industry accused of causing enormous ecological and social damage. Many of the problems are believed to stem from a compliant government giving dubious concessions to logging companies in exchange for bribes.
Ironically, looming on the horizon is the prospect of the end of the logging industry, such has been the scale of the tree felling, with experts warning that the country may run out of commercially exploitable trees within five years. With timber now almost 70 per cent of exports, the fear is of economic collapse. Hywel Davies examines the damage and the dangers of logging in the Solomon Islands.