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SIG & MCC visit Viru Harbour community

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SOLOMON ISLANDS GOVERNMENT AND MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION (MCC) VISIT TO
WESTERN PROVINCE

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS (May 24, 2023) — The Vice President of the Department of Policy and Evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Ms. Alicia Phillips Mandaville, travelled to Western Province on May 19-20, 2023, to advance the MCC-Solomon Islands Threshold Program (MCC-SITHP).

Ms. Phillips Mandaville was part of a joint MCC and Solomon Islands Government delegation to Western Province, led by the Minister for National Planning and Development Coordination, the Honourable Rexon Ramofafia. The delegation was also accompanied by the Permanent Secretary (PS) of National Planning and Development Coordination, Susan Sulu; the PS of Forestry and Research, Dr. Vaeno Vigulu; the PS of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Dr. Melchior Mataki; and the PS of Culture and Tourism, Bunyan Sivoro. These four ministries provide key Solomon Islands Government leadership on the implementation of the MCC-SITHP.

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The delegation met with the Viru Harbour community, which is the first community selected to participate in the Forest Carbon Activity of the MCC-SITHP’s Forest Value Enhancement Project (FoVEP). This Activity aims to protect the community’s forest from logging and provide the community with a sustainable source of future revenue through carbon capture and trading. The identification and assessment of additional sites for further forest carbon projects is ongoing and is guided by a Task Force and Working Groups comprised of Solomon Islands Government officials.

PS Sivoro led a visit to small scale tourism businesses around Munda, Western Province to support a second MCC-SITHP project, the Accessing Land for Tourism Investment Facilitation (ALTIF) Project. ALTIF will help Solomon Islands realize its tourism potential by addressing land access and investment facilitation barriers. ALTIF is initially focusing on increasing socially-responsible tourism investment in Western Province and is working to ensure community acceptance and understanding of any potential investment.

Sites proposed for support under the ALTIF project will be assessed by a Task Force and Working Groups comprised of Solomon Islands Government officials and representatives of the Tourism industry.

 The MCC-Solomon Islands Threshold Program is a four-year $20 million grant investment developed and implemented in partnership between the Government of Solomon Islands and the U.S. Government through its Millennium Challenge Corporation. The partnership agreement was signed in 2022 and is currently working to increase economic opportunity for Solomon Islanders through investing in sustainable forestry practices and its tourism sectors. The grant funds are provided on behalf of the American people and are not loans our partners need to repay. Rather, they are investments in economic growth designed to enhance opportunities for the people of Solomon Islands. For more information, visit www.MCC.gov and www.sithp.com.sb.  

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