MEMBERS of the Totoku Community on Simbo Island, Western Province are being encouraged to take up the leading role in conservation efforts to protect their marine resources.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) last week rolled out four (4) Community-based Fisheries Management Plan, In-shore Fishing Aggregating Devices (IFAD/Rafter), and Financial Inclusion Initiative.
A Management Plan Manual was handed to the community leaders during the brief ceremony.
Guest of honor, Bruno Manele spoke highly of community cooperation traditionally and promoted rural leadership in conservation efforts.
Manele spoke of the traditional practice commonly used when harvesting land or sea resources “by our ancestors”.
“Through their practice, they have been able to successfully conserve resources to provide for today’s generation,” he said.
“With respect, partnership, and cooperation between our chiefs and members of the community, there is little reason to fail.
“It is very often that we see past years of conservation efforts wither away and a common reason for the decline is because we tend to forget the inclusion of community leaders who are literally rural front-liners,” Mr. Manele said.
“We are known to be wealthy islands and confuse the difference between being wealthy and being rich, but riches come and go and wealth is for always, the natural resources that we have are our greatest wealth and deserve to be protected for generations to come.”
Manele said members of the communities were grateful for the assistance and training provided by WWF, adding “it is only we the people who will be able to make it work.”
BY TERENCE ZIRU
Gizo News Bureau