Many species of plants and animals in Solomon Islands are still unknown to science, and tragically at the current rate of large scale logging many will be destroyed before they are discovered. Through sustainable forest management, communities are able to draw a higher proportion of income from their timber resources and NRDF encourages these communities to set at least 10% of their land aside for conservation. For example, in the Choiseul Province NRDF is working with the Katupika community to set aside 2000ha for a national park. NRDF is now working with other organisations, such as Live and Learn, to explore REDD+ (carbon trading) as a potential income source for these communities through conservation. Research facilitation and ecotourism are other strong possibilities for income generation and knowledge capture.
About Forest Conservation
The Solomon Islands is an area of amazing landscapes and rich biodiversity. The unique but vulnerable forest ecosystems are highly at risk due to ongoing logging and mining activities and threats. In 2009, NRDF began to establish Forest Conservation Areas in the Western and Choiseul provinces to safeguard and protect some of the last rainforest areas containing high biodiversity values and important environmental services. The aim is to establish a network of 6-8 Forest Conservation Areas that are managed by the landowning communities and legally protected under the Protected Area Bill 2010. Part of the program is to start specific income generating activities such as ecotourism and research facilitation, and also find links with new REDD+ opportunities. NRDF will search for collaboration and assistance with conservation groups to set up this network.
To preserve the unique forest ecosystems of the Solomon Islands and at the same time create employment and income benefits for landowners.
- Setting up a network of 6-8 forest conservation areas in western Solomon Islands;
- Apply for a legal status under the Protected Area Bill 2010 for each of these areas;
- Carry out biodiversity assessments in each of the areas;
- Establish income generating projects in each of the areas such as nature based tourism (eco-tourism), research facilitation and carbon trade (REDD+);
- Collaborate with national and international conservation organisations.
Thanks to Patrick Pikacha, Myknee Sirikolo, Wilko Bosma and friends for these beautiful images: