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Forestry management project for Solomon Islands moving ahead

11/12/2018 Honiara, Solomon Islands

2018 signifies a major push forward for the Integrated Forest Management Project in the Solomon Islands. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) the project, which was approved in 2016, began implementation this year following the recruitment of most of the project personnel. The project is being implemented in country through FAO.   

The project team with support from counterparts from the FAO Subregional Office in Samoa undertook four provincial and community inceptions meetings earlier this year. The provinces were Makira Ulawa, Western, Guadalcanal, and Choiseul.

Like with the national inception workshop in 2017, the aim of the meetings were to introduce to the province and the participating communities the project ideas and to inform participants the rationales and providing linkages to the national development efforts, frameworks and polices.

“These meetings are essential to reinforce strong community level ownership and understanding of the project, which is absolutely critical for the project to progress effectively”, said Madankumar Janakiraman, FAO’s GEF Programme Officer for the Pacific.

Janakiraman said that meeting also provided an overview of the components of the projects with outlines of the structural setup and implementation arrangements, the project’s annual work plan and to portray the various activities that would be conducted in the course of the project.

The communities of Bahomea in the Tina/Popomanaseu site on Guadalcanal are eager to work cooperatively towards establishing woodland areas that would support forest restoration through reforestation, afforestation, and enrichment plantings.

National Project Coordinator for the GEF project in Solomon Islands, Douglas Yee emphasized that the interest shown by the communities is a green light towards the effort to protect their terrestrial areas.

“With the support of the Field Coordinator and the technical officers from the Reforestation Department of the Ministry of Forest and Research, these communities realise that this is also the only option that would allow for carbon sequestration and enhancements efforts”, said Yee.

Although nursery projects have been ear-marked for undertaking at some later stages of project implementation, it was stressed that tree-planting itself requires a process time from nursery to transplanting to growth period before reaching maturity. In this context the communities have emphasized that they would like to see woodland plots established earlier than later so they could witness tree growths during the life of the project.

Background

The Integrated Forest Management Project in the Solomon Islands is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project which is being implemented in the country through FAO.

The project is to assist the Government of the Solomon Islands to implement integrated management of protected and productive forest landscapes for sustainable community development and multiple environmental benefits.

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