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Press Release: Joint Publication on the Solomon Islands




The negative impacts of logging on human rights in Solomon Islands remain largely unaddressed, despite promises made by the government at the United Nations. Dominicans for Justice and Peace took an active part in the preparation of a new publication entitled “The impacts of logging on human rights in the Solomon Islands”. The report is based on focus-group discussions with over 300 people, during community visits conducted in October 2022 by Franciscans International (FI), Dominicans for Justice and Peace and their networks. It provides an overview of the most pressing issues, including water pollution, health concerns linked to pollutants, the impact of logging on food sources, the rights of women and girls, the right to a healthy environment, among others, and offers concrete steps forward.


The Society of Saint Francis, the Dominican Network in Solomon Islands, and the Community of the Sisters of the Church (Solomon Islands – Pacific Province) have also greatly contributed to the publication.


Following reports collected by Franciscans and Dominicans in communities living near logging sites, the first concerns were raised ahead of the 2021 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Solomon Islands. At the end of this process, during which the human rights record of all UN Member States is examined on a rotating basis, the government made several commitments to improve the situation. In October 2022, FI and Dominicans for Justice and Peace visited six of the affected communities on Guadalcanal Island to ascertain the reality on the ground.


“We found that logging continues to disrupt almost all aspects of life for people who traditionally have a close relationship with the environment and rely on it for water, food, and medicine,” says Budi Tjahjono, FI’s Asia-Pacific Coordinator. He adds that “[o]ther issues caused by logging, including the introduction of invasive species, conflict within communities, and domestic trafficking of young women and girls, threaten to cause generational harm.”


“The impacts of logging on human rights in Solomon Islands” offers a comprehensive overview of the key findings and breaks these down into seven thematic issues. Looking at the recommendations accepted during Solomon Islands’ latest UPR, the report also provides immediate steps that can be taken to both mitigate the harm already caused by logging and prevent similar issues during future projects.


A Pijin translation of the report is currently in progress to ensure that it is accessible at the grassroots level. With their deep roots in Solomon Islands, local Franciscans and Dominicans are also incorporating the findings in their work to help further strengthen community resilience.


Dominicans for Justice and Peace joins Franciscans International in their hope that this publication will make a positive contribution by proactively offering the government avenues that reflect the reality on the ground to start implementing the commitment it has made. As Mr. Tjahjono put it, “It is not too late to meet these challenges, but it is imperative that meaningful action is taken now.”


Dominicans for Justice and Peace will continue to provide support to those directly affected by logging, including women and children, and highlight the human rights impacts of industrial logging in the Solomon Islands through the different mechanisms available at the United Nations.


Note: Artwork by Benjamin Marfangia


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