Speaking to the Solomon Star in an exclusive interview recently the founder and chairman of the Eagon group of companies Young-Ju Park said Eagon has come a long way in its operation in the country.
He said the company is happy to continue with its operation in Solomon Islands with tree planting.
Mr Park highlighted the Eagon wants to be role model for other stakeholders to follow and help support the economy and environment through tree planting.
With the growing decline in natural forests, the Eagon’s top official said its important that landowners, resource owners, communities and the national government realise the importance tree planting.
“It’s the only way forward for this country once natural forests are lost,” he said.
Eagon first came to the country as a logging company before switching to investing in tree planting.
Today the company has vast forest plantation in the Western province.
Most of the tree products are exported to Southeast Asian countries like China, Vietnam and South Korea.
Mr Park said despite the many challenges the company had faced over the years with its investment, it had paid off for the company with the continuous expansion of its plantation in the country.
He however noted that land is a problem because they wanted to continue with their expansion plan but are faced with lack of enough land.
Mr Park noted the some of the benefits the company had made over the years the country to economy and the rural communities.
Apart from creating employment for more than 200 people in the country, it had also supported the economy through tax.
For the communities especially in Arara, South New Georgia, Mr Park the company had supported them through the provision of health clinics and educations through scholarships. The company also supported the work of Red Cross as well from time to time.
Mr Park spent 8 days in the country early this month visiting Eagon’s camp in Arara and its headoffice in Honiara.
By MOFFAT MAMU