Corporate Power in the Forests of the Solomon Islands

Author/s (editor/s):

Peter Dauvergne

Publication year:

1997

Publication type:

Working paper

Find this publication at:
IR Working Paper 1997/6 (PDF, 2.87MB)

Peter Dauvergne, 'Corporate Power in the Forests of the Solomon Islands', IR Working Paper 1997/6, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, October 1997.

This paper assesses the environmental impact of multinational companies on commercial timber management in the Solomon Islands since 1990. As more and more companies, especially from Malaysia, have spread throughout the country, the capacity of the state and societal groups to develop and enforce effective rules have become increasingly strained. Corporate bribes and pressure on state and community leaders further contribute to inappropriate policies and weak enforcement. In this context, loggers have pushed log production over three times higher than the sustainable yield. With minimal controls, and in an effort to maximise profits and minimise risks, companies in the Solomon Islands have ignored environmental and harvesting guidelines, broken promises to landowners and communities, evaded export and income taxes, developed informal and formal arrangements that lower prices and increase production, and constructed complex corporate structures that obscure financial and environmental accountability. The environmental impact of timber companies is not unique to the Solomon Islands. Similar patterns are also found in other parts of the Asia Pacific, South America, and Africa.

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