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SIG and WWF Pacific Sign MoU to Safeguard Biodiversity & Boost Community Based Resource Management

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PS Metaki and WWF SOI Shannon Seeto
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Honiara, Solomon Islands (16 February 2023) – The Solomon Islands Government and WWF Pacific have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will elevate their collaboration on research, community based fisheries management and broader biodiversity conservation efforts.

Penned through the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM), the MoU recognizes the importance of partnerships in the delivery of conservation measures as well as the role of nature and natural resources in enhancing the lives of present and future generations of Solomon Islanders.

At the signing event, the Permanent Secretary (PS) for MECDM, Dr Melchior Mataki thanked WWF for its collaboration with MECDM and communities over the past two decades on community based resource management.

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“Solomon Islands’ economy is heavily reliant on and primarily sustained by the exploitation of its natural resources. Unless exploitation is balanced with proper natural resource management, there will always exist a great potential for its environment to be put under pressure from human activities,” said PS Mataki.

“This MoU marks a significant step towards achieving our shared vision for a prosperous, sustainable and resilient nation”, said PS Mataki.

He added, “The linkages between biodiversity, fisheries and food security require a high degree of collaboration between different government ministries and non-government organisations like WWF Pacific. This collaboration is also critical in overcoming logistical challenges of delivering services to far flung communities in our predominantly rural and widespread archipelago.”

Solomon Islands is one of six countries[1] that are part of the Coral Triangle, which is an area that has emerged as one of the world’s economic hubs and one that sustains 120 million people. Fast population and economic growth have fueled unsustainable coastal development and boosted demand for expensive marine resources such as tuna, shark fin, turtle products and live reef fish.

“Globally, WWF supports community management of natural resources and supports local efforts to protect those resources against a growing number and complexity of threats,” said Country Manager for WWF Pacific in Solomon Islands, Shannon Seeto.

“By the same token, the geographical characteristics of Solomon Islands and the lessons learnt over the years has shown that core actions of conservation should be carried out by communities themselves, as stewards of their own lands and fisheries resources with support from NGOs.”

“The work of WWF Pacific in Solomon Islands is delivered through a framework for community based fisheries management,” said Seeto.

He added, “As per global conservation standards, WWF Pacific will also be applying a Gender and Social Inclusion lens through its work, as well as the Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework (ESSF) principles. This approach will ensure that conservation efforts are inclusive and equitable, considering the diverse needs and perspectives of traditionally marginalised groups such as women, youth and people with disabilities.”

As one of the priority areas for WWF Pacific, Solomon Islands play a vital role in regional and global conservation efforts.

 

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