An initiative to establish a nature park in the Barana area on Mt Austen, outside Honiara town championed by the people of Barana in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC) project has received much praise from the Solomon Islands Government.
Addressing the Barana community on World Environment Day, 5 June 2018, Permanent Secretary for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) Dr. Melchoir Mataki hailed the efforts saying it is encouraging to see a shift towards not only protected areas but sustainable natural resources management at both provincial and community levels.
“The establishment of a community nature park is part and parcel of the government’s efforts to promote environmental management and sustainable natural resources management throughout the country.
“I would also like to urge the community of Barana and Guadalcanal province to take ownership of the community nature park that SPREP through the PEBACC project is establishing here at Barana.
“The SPREP PEBACC project will only be here for a limited time and the community and the province will need to think about the long-term sustainability of the work. It requires strong commitment, honesty, accountability and hard work by all members of the community with support from both the national and provincial government. All of us here must take ownership of this project.” Dr Mataki said.
The Premier of Guadalcanal Province, Mr Anthony Veke was also a guest at the event and he reiterated that the project is not just about climate change resilience for Barana but also for Honiara city as a whole.
“I note with interest the focus on ecosystems and services such as water, forests, good soil and stability of the natural environment. All these services support the livelihood of the people of Barana and Honiara.” Mr Veke said.
According to PEBACC Solomon Islands Country Manager, Fred Patison, the Barana community nature park is an initiative to promote ecosystem-based adaptation to climate, re-enforcing the role of nature to strengthen community resilience to climate change.
“It is encouraging to see a community in Guadalcanal standing up to take action on a critical environmental issue. Our communities must be guided to see the important functions of these ecosystems and their preservation for our needs and survival today and into the future.
“PEBACC sees this as an opportunity to work with the community to address environmental sustainability.
“Let me convey to the Barana community that SPREP and the other partners are here only to re-enforce the messages of environmental protection, restoration and so forth. Your commitment and support now is your investment in yourselves, your children and your future.” Mr Patison added.
World Environment Day celebration at Barana community was a success with an official ceremony in the morning followed by tree planting, a clean-up around the community and the school and a hike to the Barana nature park.
PEBACC is a five-year project implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the governments of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The project is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) administered by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Building (BMU).
The Project focuses on strengthening and protecting the role of natural ecosystem services to enhance resilience to climate change. In Solomon Islands the project is working in Wagina Island and Honiara.
For more information about the PEBACC project in Solomon Islands, contact Mr Fred Patison, PEBACC Solomon Islands Country Manager at [email protected]