The Strengthening Competitiveness Agriculture and Livelihoods – Natural Resource Management (SCALE-NRM) project today launched a grant initiative to strengthen and support organizations working to enhance natural resource management and livelihoods in Solomon Islands.
The Forests and Development Fund (FDF) will provide grants to Solomon Islands organizations for activities that support protection of forests, enhancing livelihoods, and building capacity of organizations. The FDF was jointly launched by the Solomon Islands national government, USAID, and the Malaita provincial government.
In view of travel restrictions imposed because of the Covid outbreak in Solomon Islands, the grants initiative was launched virtually. Mr. Russell Comeau, Director of the U.S. Embassy Office in Solomon Islands, said, “The United States is honored to be able to work with the Government of Solomon Islands to protect this valuable resource, our forests. Transparent and accountable management of land, seas, and skies is part of our commitment to securing a prosperous, inclusive, secure, and democratically empowered Indo-Pacific.”
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry and Research Mr. Vaeno Vigulu described the launching as a ‘milestone event’ in the Forestry Sector in the Solomon Islands. “As the Forestry Sector is the second largest employer of Solomon Islanders, the establishment of this project and its funded activities rolling out into communities will further increase the engagement of more Solomon Islanders at the Provincial level. The good thing is keeping community members at their own tribal land and employment, discounting annual urban drifts. This is good in supporting microeconomies within the Province – the bricks of our national economy.”
The Hon. Premier said that the Malaita Provincial Government was completely committed to
the protection and sustainable governance of Malaita’s forests, which is a cornerstone of the MARA Government’s restorative economy policy. “Restorative economy encompasses a shift from the current free hand out mentality that only deepens dependency to that of people being able to independently take care of their development affairs”. The premier thanked USAID adding that through SCALE “we in Malaita Province are able to see the manifestation of this new policy direction”.
SCALE-NRM Acting Chief of Party Dr. Morgan Wairiu explained that in 2022, the opportunity will offer between 10 to 20 grants for organizations operating in Malaita Province, to be implemented over a six- to 12-month period. Dr. Wairiu highlighted the importance of working in partnership with Solomon Islands organizations to not only protect forests for expanded livelihood and economic opportunities for communities and tribes, but grants will also strengthen the capacity of community organizations in Malaita and ensure sustainability.
Any organization which is registered in the Solomon Islands is eligible to apply including community based organizations, educational, training or research institutions, trade/farmers associations or private businesses.
SCALE-NRM is designed to address the underlying causes of forest degradation in the Solomon
Islands, with a current focus on Malaita Province. The program will implement a range of activities to improve forest governance and ensure sustainable forest management. The project is being implemented over a five-year period, from October 2020 to September 2025. The SCALE project operates in Malaita province due to a specific request from the central government of Solomon Islands to address unmet development priorities in the largest province. SCALE-NRM is a
partnership between USAID and Winrock International.
For additional information, please contact Ednal Palmer, SCALE-NRM Communications Coordinator, Ph: (677) 7336633, E: [email protected]
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In the Solomon Islands, USAID partners with the Solomon Islands government, development partners, the private sector, academia, civil society, and others to have a greater development and humanitarian impact. USAID’s work focuses on economic growth, strengthening disaster preparedness and climate change response, health, and democratic governance. The United States considers Solomon Islands an important partner to foster a free and open Indo Pacific region. Our close and deepening relationship with Solomon Islands is based on mutual respect, shared history, and the common values of strength through diversity, fairness, and freedom.
SCALE is a comprehensive five-year investment in economic growth and trade in theSolomon Islands, with specific emphasis on the development of the agribusiness sector and improved management of the forestry sector. In support of the Solomon Islands’ National Development Strategy 2016-2035, the project has three objectives: (1) improve the enabling environment for increased trade and investment; (2) promote the development and expansion of the agribusiness sector; and (3) improve natural resources governance. Through five implementing partners, SCALE will work in provinces most in need of development as identified by the Solomon Islands government, with