MANAGING and conserving the nation’s forest resources sustainably is a challenge the government and stakeholders are working to address.
That’s according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry and Research (MOFR) Vaeno Vigulu.
He was speaking recently during a community forest conservation meeting held in Honiara.
He said threatened food security, increasing high watermark and loss of valuable fauna and flora species are some of the worrying environmental policy issues that the country is currently facing.
“Generally, the key underlying drivers for these worrying environmental policy issues can be related to climate change and unsustainable deforestation largely caused by widespread of logging activities,” he said.
Vigulu said not only that, to certain extent, forest clearances for temporary gardening and mining activities also contributes.
“Around the world, we’re losing 18.7 million acres of forest each year or 27 soccer fields per minute,” he said.
Vigulu said the Government has been collaborating both at the international and national front with renown expertise and organisations in addressing these environment issues.
“In the International Front, SIG has ratified important Multi-lateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) which has obligations to comply with.”
He said some of these MEAs include the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC-ratified in 1994), UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD –ratified in 1995) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNCCD –acceded to in 1991).
He added the SIG had committed to address the Sustainable Development Goals going forward.
“Nationally, SIG has also been taking steps to strengthen its environmental policy and programs by establishing and enacting important environmental laws and national policies purposely to address the underlying drivers in enhancing sustainable economy and development in our country,” he said.
By IAN M.KAUKUI