KIBCA's High Court challenge over logging

On Monday 25 June KIBCA returns to the High Court in Honiara to continue its case challenging the legitimacy of proposed logging operations on Kolombangara. The logging approvals were granted in 2010 over a large area extending from Ghatere to Hapi and include forests within the protected 400m conservation area.

KIBCA is challenging the validity of the approvals granted to Success Logging Company. Two decisions are being challenged. One is a decision of the Director of Environment and Conservation to grant a Development Consent to permit logging. The other is a decision of the Commissioner of Forestry Resources to allow logging on land over 400m altitude within the Kolombangara Island conservation area.

KIBCA is claiming that the correct consultative, planning and assessment procedures were not followed by Success or the Government Offices.

KIBCA has also raised in the claim the issue of bias in the decision making process. The Minister for Forestry at the time the logging approvals were granted was Mr. Bodo Dettke, a Director of Success Logging Company.

KIBCA has taken the High Court action to ensure that Government Departments as well as logging companies follow the correct procedures and to ensure that the 400m Conservation Area is protected. Monday's hearing is an application by KIBCA to stop any logging from happening on the land in question until the main case is heard later this year.