- Governance challenges and reports of corruption in the Solomon Islands’ timber sector are well publicized.
- Illegal logging is widespread and there are significant risks associated with timber sourced from natural forests on customary land and from large-scale plantations.
- Forest laws are not well-enforced; operators found to be operating illegally rarely are fined or lose their licenses.
- Direct exports to U.S. and EU markets are low while exports of logs to China have rapidly risen. Most of the concessions in the country are owned and operated by Asian companies from China, Singapore, Malaysia, and India.
- NGO reports have documented cases of high-risk timber sourced from the Solomon Islands being used in Chinese-manufactured products that are likely entering European and U.S. markets.
- New reference material has been collected that will support enforcement officials to be able to identify timber harvested in the Solomon Islands.
Read more by downloading the Solomon Islands Timber Legality Risk Dashboard here.
The Solomon Islands in the Pacific Region is endowed with idyllic beaches and vast biodiverse rainforests. But beneath its picture-perfect scenery lurks a troubled reality. The country already bears the brunt of climate change impacts such as rising sea levels and frequent typhoons of escalating intensity.
When Malaysian logger Richard Kong Sing Ngea pleaded guilty in December 2020 to the illegal harvesting of Tubi trees in Solomons’ Isabel Province, tribal leader Wilson Tohidi was thrilled. Ngea’s admittance of guilt, Tohidi believes, should prompt the Solomon Islands Government to seize the illegally felled logs and return them to landowners.
In November 2021, Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, was wracked by riots that left three people dead and the city’s Chinatown in ashes. The unrest was stoked by the prime minister’s decision to end diplomatic ties with Taiwan and instead side with Beijing, stirring up anti-Chinese sentiment, as well as tensions between Guadalcanal province, where the capital is located, and Malaita, the country’s most-populous province but also one of its least-developed.
Click here to access the Global Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (ILAT) Risk assessment tool and to download the Forest Trends User Guide describing the functionality of the ILAT Risk Data Tool.
Click here to access the Cattle Data Tool.