In March over 30 supporters gathered online to hear about the Society of Francis’ mission in the Solomon Islands to highlight the wider implications and impacts of illegal, unregulated and unsustainable logging. Joining us the day after their address to the United Nations, Brs Worrick and Lent in Honiara and Minister General Christopher John in Australia, shared with us their concerns for the forests and people of Melanesia –
The forests of the Solomon Islands have sustained life in all its forms over countless generations. But now trees are being felled, dragged down from the mountain areas, and exported as unprocessed round logs. The logging companies, mostly Malaysian, often bribe politicians and local representatives to obtain logging licenses. Customary landowners receive some payment for their logs, but after the logging company has left there is nothing but bare earth. The work of the loggers is not monitored by government and often the terms of the logging licence are not respected. The effects are widespread.
Watch the Brothers’ UN address;
And find out more about the Brothers’ mission; Logging & the Abuse of Human Rights.
The Brothers have asked us to pray for their work and the three main recommendations they want the Solomon Islands Government to address:
- Protect human rights against abuses by logging companies; ensure effective remedies for victims; and bring the perpetrators to justice.
- Ensure that the right to free, prior and informed consent be fully respected and implemented through all stages of the logging process, in accordance with international human rights standards.
- Adopt a coherent and comprehensive mitigation and adaptation climate policy and actions based on human rights norms and principles.
Following the Brothers’ talk there was presentation on what our response might be towards climate and environmental justice, including shopping ethically – checking for sustainable forestry certification, engaging with our own politicians, government in the run up to COP26, becoming an eco-church and attending one of the Franciscan’s climate events at Hilfield or online.
If you would like to support the Brothers’ mission, or to watch the Call to Action conference recording, please contact MMUK.