A NEW Community Conservation Association has been formed on the West Coast of Makira Island.
The Tawatana Community Conservation Development Association (TCCDA) was formally constituted in October last year and has now received their Certificate of Incorporation from the Solomon Islands Registrar of Companies.
The Associations chairman, Zebulon Rodomoi said:
“We are excited to have achieved this important step.”
The TCCDA has evolved out of community efforts to protect the traditionally owned lands of Tawatana from the threats of logging and to prevent damaging fishing practices.
The commitment to conservation in the Tawatana community has undergone a period of development and the TCCDA believes in taking a consensus approach that works with the men, women, and young people of Ward 6 and 7 to respect traditional land tenure, promote environmental awareness and use local development initiatives and appropriate technology to support conservation.
The TCCDA has developed to meet the community’s aims for sustainable locally driven development that conserves the local forest and marine habitat.
Mr Rodomoi went on to say:
“We have been working hard for the community of Tawatana for many years but have recently become a formal organisation.
“With the help of two volunteers from the Australian Volunteers for International Development program (AVID) we have been able to develop our constitution, become a formally incorporated body and write our first ever strategic plan.”
TCCDA membership is opened to the entire community and has a committee of 10 people across all ages including both men and women.
Importantly the work of the TCCDA is supported by the senior men in the village and the community believes in a strong link between conservation and opportunities for employment and further development.
The commitment of the village has been demonstrated through its current activities to manage the marine and forest environment including establishing rules to make some forms of fishing tabu and voluntarily excluding logging from traditionally owned forest areas.
The Goal of the Association is for Sustainable, locally driven development that conserves the local forest and marine habitat and through many discussions and meetings the Association has developed 7 priority objectives:
- To support environmentally sound and sustainable development that creates business and employment opportunities for income generation in Tawatana and surrounding areas.
- To encourage, support and implement environmental initiatives and projects that protect and restore the local environment including the establishment of a conservation area and undertaking reforestation activities.
- To increase awareness of Tawatana and the activities of the TCCDA with other organisations and people (including internationally) for improving communication, forming partnerships, gaining support, and increasing interest in the area.
- To raise awareness of environmental issues and support education and training activities.
- To encourage and support future food security and self-reliance for the Tawatana community.
- To maintain and utilise cultural knowledge and activities.
- To support the old and vulnerable within the community.
Mr Rodomoi said:
“Now we will be working harder than ever to access the resources we need to conserve the environment of Tawatana and achieve our development goals.”