Officials from the Department have circulated a notice in Kira Kira, the Provincial Capital and in the areas where the discussions will take place.
The notice says the creation of Protected Areas follows the passing of the Protected Areas Act and Regulations by the Solomon Islands Government.
It says the two new laws mean that customary landowners and others can apply to the Government to have their lands turned into “Protected Areas”.
The notice says if an area is made a “protected area”, the ownership does not change, but it will affect what people can do inside.
The first meetings were held on Friday July 9 and July 10 at Ngarianamaoro Village, Arohane Community on the eastern outskirts of Kira Kira to discuss turning Mato Tribal Land into a Protected Area.
Then on July 13 and 14, Conservation officials will meet the people of Apurahe Community to discuss turning the Naonigai Tribal Land into a Protected Area while at the same time another Conservation team will meet Piruma Community to discuss turning the Waihita Tribal Land into a Protected Area.
And on July 16 and 17, the officials will meet the Waihaga Community to discuss turning Oresi Tribal Land into a Protected Area, will meet the Hagaruhi Community to talk about turning Anomera Tribal Land and Mawawe Tribal Land into Protected Areas.
These communities are on the Weather Coast of Makira.
But on July 23 and 24, the Conservation officials will meet the people of Maerongosia Community to discuss the Naoneone Tribal Land being turned into a Protected Area and on July 28 and 29, they will meet the people of Maniarara Village of the Bahari Community to discuss turning the Birobiro Tribal Land into a Protected Area.
The final meeting on August 3 and 4 will be held at Manawaba Community to discuss Hagagari Tribal Land being turned into a Protected Area.
The contact persons for the meetings are Hensilyn Boseto on Mobile:(+677) 7898195 and Lina Dorovolomo on Mobile: (+677) 7960074.
By George Atkin in Kira Kira