Solomon Islands: An ‘academic’ view on why indigenous peoples / citizens deforest?

Trees were felled because they are not harmful and do not have rebellious biological features and even cannot shed tears and cry out in agony. In here, our own people realised and recognised trees as being the only very accessible component of the environment that possess the potentiality creating riches without greater sweat and effort by the people as everything is processed (destructed) by machines. The Solomon Star issue on Friday 13th March gives a typical example of the indigenous desire for loggers to deforest the land of Auluta basin.

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People in this region want their forest cleared through large scale logging operation. This is another case in relation to the trend that was discovered by one of our scholars in the 1990s.

In that, he noted that it was the state that requested loggers and the state in this context can be interpreted as people. People opened their land and allowed their forest to be logged by foreign investors without realizing that the reward obtained is far too small to sustain the whole community for another century.

Put differently the money obtained from logging operation quench their thirst, fill their stomach and fulfil their financial wishes, a spill over of the stereotypical belief of “cargo cult”. It is another way of self accomplishment and making dreams coming true.

In some parts it is a way of showing frustration and anger towards some one whom the community trusted who would lead them to be monetarily rich and materialistically wealthy. So in all it is not the Government that wish people to log their land, it is the land itself. The land owns the people and a person belongs to the land and so it is the people’s choice and decision.

— Ambrose Malefoasi, Honiara

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