Home Conservation Lake Tengano Communities in East Rennel throw support behind EREPA Project

Lake Tengano Communities in East Rennel throw support behind EREPA Project

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Community members and those who oragnised the meeting
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Inception for the last of the four provinces earmarked for the “Ensuring Resilient Ecosystems and Representative Protected Areas in Solomon Islands – EREPA project concluded at Hutuna village East Rennell on the 8th February 2023. The other three provinces Guadalcanal, Malaita and Temotu provinces have completed their inception and have begun implementation of activities towards meeting the aims and objectives of the project, which is to “establish an effective network of protected areas to achieve healthy, productive and restored landscapes in Guadalcanal, Malaita, Rennell-Bellona and Temotu provinces”. 

Lake Tengano, the project site is currently listed under World Heritage, but its status is being threatened by uncontrolled logging activities and mining. It is now listed as “endangered” site.  In that connection EREPA project will work very closely with the communities in East Renell to removed it from the endangered list.

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Speaking to MECDM PRESS a community representative and member of Lake Tengano management committee said although a lot of frustration and resentment from participants, it is because previous attempts targeting the preservation of Lake Tengano has been very slow in terms of progress as well as the spin off benefits that come with such developments.

“What you heard from participants today are issues that are coming from their hearts. Many attempts have been made in the past to try preserve, protect and restore the ecosystems of Lake Tengano but the process has been very slow and frustrating. That is what’s causing all these resentments.

But today I am appealing to all of us members of the four communities to give ourselves and Lake Tengano another chance. Through this EREPA project, I can see that the plan is clear. We have an officer based with us here at the Lake so I am sure through regular meetings and consultations we can move this project forward.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Environment and its implementing partners Mr Barnabas Bago from the Program Management and Coordination Unit of MECDM told participants that in the other three provinces work on getting their identified sites for protection under the Protected Areas Act has already started and is pleased to say that in Rennell/Bellona province work should also start after the inception workshop.

“The delay was in part due to a delay in recruitment of an officer who will be responsible for the supervision of project activities in Rennell/Bellona province. Despite that we have made a lot of progress since and we are now able to complete the inception for both the Provincial Government and communities”.

He urged the communities to work together with the Government and its stakeholders both local and international so we can achieve the project outputs and outcomes.

One of the major outputs is to have at least 50,000 hectares of land declared protected under the Protected Areas (PA) Act across the  four provinces.

Ends//

MECDM PRESS

 

 

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