In 2007, a logging company began to illegally clear forests in community-owned land, in one of the NRDF’s Western Province project areas. The women of the community blockaded the logging company for three months, and on several occasions were met with violent altercations. This was a huge commitment by the women and demonstrates the intrinsic value of their forests. This community involved has now replanted 10ha of the felled area to help in the regeneration of the forest and try to reverse the compaction and creeper overgrowth that has occurred in other logged areas of the Solomon Islands. With support from a voluntary carbon offset program, the community has replanted a total of 40ha with some 20,000 local trees (mainly Vitex, Calophyllum and Pometia).
Reforestation & Forest Restoration program
For decades the forests in the Solomon Islands have been logged or converted into coconut plantations or garden areas. Because of the growing population the pressure on the forest areas and its resources is expected to increase considerably which could lead to further conversion of forest and probably a shortage of necessary forest products and services. Current data shows that logged over forest is taking 20% of the landmass in the Solomon Islands. Most of this forest so heavily logged that it is not likely that it can naturally regenerate into commercial forests again. Most quality trees have been logged, even in the smaller diameters (30cm and up), and creepers overgrow the areas due to heavy canopy damage. Although the forests in the Solomon Islands have a high capacity to recover from damage, in many places natural regeneration of important timber species are abundant, some proper management and protection measures are needed to be implemented.
Forest restoration and reforestation are ways to restore and/or increase the functions of the forests. Forest areas with limited damage can be restored through enrichment plantings of gaps and lines. In cases where forest is heavily damaged, reforestation can be practised with either local or exotic species. Landowners are also encouraged to establish small tree plantations with fast growing species (i.e Teak or Eucalyptus) at old garden sites to gain benefits in the medium and long term (12-25 years). NRDF is actively involved in restoring forest areas. As part of the forest management system all milling sites are replanted. In Vella Lavella 40 ha of logged forest have been replanted with local species as part of a voluntarily carbon off-set project.
To support the restoration and small-scale reforestation of logged forests with local and exotic tree species, to increase and sustain the availability of forest products and services in the near and distant future.
- Organise forest restoration & reforestation workshops;
- Local and national awareness building encourage forest restoration activities;
- Link restoration and reforestation efforts with carbon off-set opportunities.