Ecological Solutions, Solomon Islands (ESSI) a local organization is currently working with customary landowners of Mount Maetambe to Kolobangara River, Lauru Land Conference and Tribal Communities (LLCTC) and Choiseul province to implement the ridges to reefs (R2R) conservation plan for Choiseul province medium development plan for 2012-2014.
The R2R conservation plan for Choiseul province is a result of a longtime partnership between The Nature Conservancy (TNC), LLCTC and Choiseul province.
“TNC have provided the technical support in 2010 to develop the ridges to reefs conservation plan for Choiseul province. We are excited about our program in Choiseul and throughout the Solomon Islands,” said Willie Atu Country Director, TNC.
The ridges to reefs conservation plans is also in line with the Solomon Islands Government conservation plan that will be implemented through the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management (MECDM) and other line ministries.
The Choiseul Ridges to Reef Conservation Plan forms the blueprint for the Choiseul Integrated Climate Change Partnership (CHICCHAP).
CHICCHAP is the regional partnership of Development partners to address Climate Change issues in Choiseul.
Ecological Solutions Solomon Islands has recently secured funds from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to conduct a baseline inventory of biological and cultural diversity of the Mount Maetambe to Kolombangara River Watershed. This is just the first step of the R2R conservation plans.
“We would thank ESSI team for the initiative to look for funding to support the Choiseul Province R2R conservation plan,” said Jimmy Kereseka of LLCTC/TNC office in Choiseul.
“We would not be able to implement the R2R development plans if it wasn’t for the ESSI team,” commented John Tabepuda, provincial secretary for Choiseul province.
SPREP will be also be partnering and collaborating with ESSI in this project. SPREP will provide additional funds to support the training of local Solomon Islanders during the scientific expedition that will be led by ESSI team in October of this year.
This will include local, regional and international scientists.
ESSI team members have been on the ground since June of this year meeting with chiefs and customary land representatives in Choiseul, Gizo and Honiara.
Last week saw a total of 40 chiefs and customary land representatives from almost 20 tribes congregate at Rarakisi village, South Choiseul for three days to deliberate on the first steps of the ridges to reef conservation plan.
The first step involves scientific expedition that will take place in the proposed area.
Furthermore, ESSI team members used the opportunity to ask for permissions to access the customary lands to conduct scientific research. Consent has been given and signed by all the chiefs and customary land representatives for ESSI team and their partners to access the customary lands.
The signed consent will allow ESSI team and their partners to conduct scientific research on our customary lands said chief Gavin Taniveke of Paleka tribe who gave a speech on behalf of all the chiefs and customary land representatives during the signing of the consent.
“We are excited about the development on the ground so far and are looking forward to work with all the customary landowners, LLCTC and Choiseul province,” said David Boseto of ESSI.
For more information check www.ecologicalsolutions-si.com or contact David Boseto [email protected]