Friday, March 18, 2011

Report warns of logging conflict in Solomons

[ABC Asia Pacific News, 17 March 2011] - Conflict may erupt in Solomon Islands because of the impending collapse of the logging industry, a report warns.

The warning has come in a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Insititute, which has been looking at the long-term future of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, known as RAMSI.

The report by Dr Matthew Allen says before RAMSI's withdrawal from the Solomons, it is vital an external security back-up system is in place to deal with any future violence.

At present 70 per cent of export income comes from the logging industry but that income is likely to dry up by 2015. Dr Allen says that situation is likely to create tension and fear.

"This collapse in logging really is going to cause a severe macro-economic shock," he said.

"There's going to a huge loss in employment and there's also going to be a huge decline in government revenue."

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