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View the PDF document Commercial logging, subsistence livelihoods and rural development : a case study of Rufoki Village, Malaita Province, Solomon Islands
Author:Lomo, Francis Frank.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Logging -- Environmental aspects -- Solomon Islands -- Malaita Province , Rural development -- Solomon Islands -- Malaita Province , Malaita Province (Solomon Islands) -- Economic conditions -- 20th century , Malaita Province (Solomon Islands) -- Rural conditions -- 20th century , Solomon Islands -- Economic conditions -- 20th century, Solomon Islands -- Social conditions -- 20th century
Date: 2001
Call No.: pac SD 538 .3 .S6 L65 2001
BRN: 928360
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: Over the past two decades commercial logging in Solomon Islands has attracted widespread attention from regional and international organizations. Of particular concern is the unsustainable rate at which the country's forest has been harvested. Despite these concerns, little has been done to substantiate claims of social, economic and environmental impacts that logging has had on the local rural communities that own almost 85 percent of the land and forests in the Solomon Islands. This realization has been the main motivation for this study, from which Rufoki Village on Malaita in the Solomon Islands was selected as a case study. The study evaluates and examines the impacts of commercial logging on the subsistence livelihoods of the people with particular emphasis on their use of forest resources and their social wellbeing. In addition, the study investigates the extent to which logging has benefited the people in terms of royalties, employment and infrastructural development. The study found that Rufoki villagers are still highly dependent on the forest because it meets many of their daily needs. However, since the commencement of logging, the forests have been affected resulting in the decline of the much needed forest products. There is a marked reduction of forest-related terrestrial and aquatic resources that have provided the village with their daily needs of food, fuel, medicine and many other useful products and services in the past. Similarly, subsistence gardens have been destroyed, resulting in food shortages. Associated with increased income and the in-migration of workers from other provinces is a decline in social stability. This includes declining production and social importance of gardening, alcohol-related problems, unwanted pregnancies, decline in community work ethic and the destruction of cultural and taboo sites. In addition to the socio-economic impacts, logging has also had severe environmental impacts on the village environment. These include, soil erosion, sedimentation, pollution and destruction of watershed areas and river courses. Having explored these issues, the study further investigated the perceived benefits that are often associated with logging. It was found that royalty payment benefited only a few landowners, infrastructure was not developed as promised and employment involved few of the landowning members. The findings are similar to studies undertaken in other tropical countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Papua New Guinea where logging is rife. The documentation of the impacts of logging on subsistence livelihoods and social wellbeing is seen as a positive step towards finding solutions and alternatives to logging. This can serve as an information base for stakeholders of the industry to take heed to promote more sustainable logging practices. As such this could provide greater benefits to the local resource owners, on one hand, and on the other will minimize environmental degradation and ensure that forest resources will continue to serve as a foundation for sustainable livelihoods in Solomon Islands.
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