Timber Export Market Mission, Solomon Islands

Forestry is the largest export industry in SI. While there continues to be strong overseas demand for SI timber, the current rate of harvest is unsustainable. This 2015 market mission builds on previous PHAMA work, and sent SI government officers to key timber markets in Australia and NZ to further their market understanding. Currently SI exports mostly rough sawn, ‘green’ (un-dried) round logs, but importers indicated they would pay a premium for more highly-processed timber, and this could be achieved by drying logs in SI before export. This would be especially important for selling alternate timber species. The mission identified three priorities: 1. build SI capacity in third party legality verification which is a market requirement in NZ, and eventually work towards FSC certification; 2. develop a national system for timber grading; 3. improve processing methods to ensure more consistent timber quality and presentation.

Key words: FSC, third party legality verification, certification, forestry, timber, logs, timber grading, sawmill, timber drying, green timber, kiln drying, Rosewood, Vitex, Kwila, Akwa, Taun, timber fumigation.

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