Environmental Governance & Monitoring Headlines

State of Environment Report and National Environment Management Strategies Workshop October 18-19, 2017, Honiara, Solomon Islands

More than 20 participants attended the 2017 State of Environment (SoE) Report and National Environment Management Strategies (NEMS) Inception Workshop from October 18-19, 2017 in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Attendees came from the Solomon Islands Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM); the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR); the Ministry of Forestry and Research (MoFR); the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); the World Wildlife Fund (WWF); and other organizations. The workshop was held at the Parliament Paul Tovua Complex.

Dr. Melchior Mataki, Permanent Secretary of MECDM, said, "The State of Environment (SoE) report is mandated by the Environment Act." He also noted the need to work with new partners for the SoE Report and similar assignments.

"It's important for us to reach out to a wide range of stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs and the private sector, and local communities in the preparation of such national reports."

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Participants group photo. Photo: W.Isenhower/SPREP

The workshop used a participatory approach to describe the processes for creating an SoE Report and NEMS, which included guiding participants in writing 40 indicators under seven themes: Atmosphere and Climate, Biodiversity, Built Environment, Coastal and Marine, Culture and Heritage, Inland Waters, and Land. Participants also determined from which ministries, reports and other resources they can gather the data to complete the indicators.

The SoE process will be carried out based on the Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact and Response (DPSIR) model, which takes into account the social, political, economic and technological factors and forces associated with the natural world, such as climate variability.

The final SoE Report and NEMS can help the Solomon Islands government in its reporting obligations to regional, national and international stakeholders, as well as provide information for grants and funding opportunities. The previous Solomon Islands SoE Report was published in 2008.

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L-R: Wendy Beti, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Managemenet and Meteorology, Chelcia Gomese, WorldFish in Solomon Islands and Ivory Akao, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
Photo: W.Isenhower/SPREP

"The State of the Environment will help us a lot," said Samuel Pitakaka Vazu, Under Secretary Technical with the MoFR. "Hopefully, when the State of the Environment Report is done we will be able to see specifically what time the Environmental Impact Assessment should be done in regards to the process that is required to obtain a felling license or for any logging operations to start."

Paul Anderson, Project Manager for Inform, and Jope Davetanivalu, Planning and Capacity Development Advisor, from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) facilitated the workshop. Both facilitators work in SPREP's Environmental Monitoring and Governance Division. This work has been supported by two projects: 1) the ACPMEAs (African, Caribbean, and Pacific Multilateral Environmental Agreements), which is implemented by UN Environment, an initiative of the ACP secretariat and funded by the European Union, and 2) the Inform project, implemented by UN Environment and funded by the Global Environment Facility.

Joe Horokou, Director of the Environment and Conservation Division with MECDM, said having good environmental standards is very important for the division's work. "Without having updated environmental information, we cannot have proper planning, and as a result, we may destroy our environment."
He added that the SoE Report and NEMS resources can help consolidate environmental knowledge.
"There's already existing information out there, and we need to put it together in a way that we can properly use to do proper planning and manage our resources," Horokou said.
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