Growing Trees of Knowledge
Tetepare Descendants’ Association (TDA) staff hosted a very successful week for five conservation and ecotourism workers from Kolombangara and Vella Lavella Islands in November 2012 on Tetepare Island.
Rangers from the Kolombangara Island Biodiversity Conservation Association (KIBCA) and the Barekasi Landowners Association enjoyed the week-long look and learn expedition to the Solomon’s most unique island.
Taking the trip were rangers Wayne Tefenoli, Denis Poli Jack and Donald Saepio from Kolombangara, with ranger Elton Kukiti and ecolodge hostess Avu Hicki from Barekasi, Vella Lavella.
Working alongside the islands rangers, tour guides and hospitality staff, the five visitors had the opportunity to learn about the islands conservation programs and ecotourism activities.
The rangers and Avu Hicki participated in a range of activities including tagging turtles, coconut crab monitoring, monitoring leatherback turtle nesting sites, compliance patrols and learning about and participating in the eco-tourism experiences on Tetepare. Ms Hicki also looked at the hostess and hospitality side of operations such as catering and guest services.
For those attending it was their first opportunity to meet with other conservation rangers, guides and hosts working in the Solomon Islands and share experiences and ideas.
Tetepare rangers Moses Bulekolo and Roy Famo, with hostess Leilani Leve provided a first class orientation and practical experience in conservation area management.
As more communities establish conservation areas and eco tourism ventures this type of networking, sharing of skills and ideas will become increasingly relevant and important for Solomon Islanders.
The Barekasi conservation area workers visit to Tetepare was supported by the Natural Resources Development Foundation (NRDF) and Rufford Small Grants Foundation. Ranger Elton Kukiti and ecolodge hostess Avu Hicki greatly appreciated the opportunity and thanked NRDF and Rufford for their support.
Photo. On Tetepare – Barekasi Conservation Area ranger Elton Kukiti (far right) measures a Trochus snail while KIBCA rangers Wayne Tefenoli and Donald Saepio record the details