West Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, July 23 – For the first time ever, the UN Development Programme Small Grants Programme in Solomon Islands handed over the certificate of afforestation project completion to its grantee, Isi Akson Theatre Art Trust (Inc).
With the outstanding goal to plant over 5,000 trees, the reforestation project had received the financial support from the UNDP Small Grants Programme (SGP) back in 2013, to restore biodiversity and create sustainable livelihoods in the Kolokisu community.
Forests are vitally important for sustaining life on Earth, and play a major role in the fight against climate change. Also, investing in land restoration is critical for improving livelihoods, reducing vulnerabilities, and reducing risks for the economy.
Addressing members of the Kolokisu community and speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Hon Francis Sade, Premier of Guadalcanal Province, commended the project team for its great accomplishments “I welcome this great milestone in Isi Akson Kolokisu Afforestation that reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, build ecosystem resilience and also enhance the lives of communities that nurture the forests.”
He further emphasized that the success of this project will provide a strong contribution to Government’s commitment to continue working for climate action and the implementation of the National Development Strategy.
“The protection of the environment becomes a source of wealth that improves the quality of life of the people of our country. It benefits the generation of jobs in the communities, and it takes us at a good pace towards our goal of building environmentally sustainable development with effective disaster risk management.”
Echoing the same sentiments and highlighting the importance of consideration for integrating nature-based solutions, Keswar Leelah, UNDP Solomon Islands Operations Manager, said that “Forest-based solutions alone, including the management, conservation and restoration of forests underpin the Sustainable Development Goals; they support economic growth, sustain billions of livelihoods, provide the basis of food and water security, and stabilize our climate.”
He voiced UNDP’s commitment to supporting initiatives such as this and partnering with local communities on its vision for climate-resilient development.
“UNDP will continue our work alongside local communities through the Small Grants Programme to tackle the environmental impacts and, at the same time, enhance people’s well-being and livelihoods.”
The handover ceremony was held through the Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) with the financial support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
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