Solomon Islands: Xiang Lin SI allegedly linked to illegal logging in the Solomon Islands; “Nende Five” protestors imprisoned

A report by Mongabay (linked below) alleges that Xi Lin SI, a Malaysia-based logging company, is linked to the imprisonment of five protesters in the Solomon Islands who tried to stop the company’s logging operations, which they allege to be illegal. Reportedly, the company did not consult adequately about the concession ahead of commencing its activities, is cutting trees beyond its licensed concession and is encroaching on locals’ customary lands, as well as for logging without the required environmental impact assessment.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Xi Lin SI to respond to the allegations. The company did not.

 

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Company non-response
16 June 2019

Xiang Lin SI did not respond

We invited Xiang Lin SI to respond to allegations of illegal logging in the Solomon Islands and linkage to the imprisonment of the "Nende Five" protestors.

The company did not respond. 

Article
15 June 2019

Solomon Islanders imprisoned for trying to stop the logging of their forests

Author: Louise Hunt, Mongabay

17 May 2019

...[S]elf-appointed forest ranger Titus Godfrey Meoblir told Mongabay how he and four others had wound up in the state jail for six months after they were accused of burning logging machines on their home island of Nende....

The "Nende Five" case, as it's become known, reflects the challenges many environmental defenders and landowners face in trying to stand up for their rights.

...Xiang Lin SI Ltd, which has operations throughout the archipelago provinces, landed its logging machines on Nende, a move that the campaigners argued was illegal.

"When the company came in, they put logging machines at the [logging area] and made the logging roads," Titus said. "There was no consultation with the community and landowners, and no timber rights hearing [in accordance with] forestry legislation. So we were angry, and we wrote letters to the company, but they didn't respond."

...Xiang Lin reportedly claimed it was given permission to log on land belonging to the government...Nende landowners later tried to get...a temporary injunction to halt Xiang Lin's activities...[b]ut...the Solomon Islands High Court ultimately ruled in favor of the company and allowed logging to proceed.

Operations allegedly spread beyond the boundaries of the licensed concession...to affect...customary land. ...[L]andowners claimed Xiang Lin had not held timber rights hearings for activities affecting their land.

...The protesters maintain there is no proof they were behind the arson incident, and their trial was adjourned 29 times while they were in prison because of lack of evidence.

 

Read the full post here