An Ecosystem and Socio-economic Resilience Analysis and Mapping (ESRAM) assessment undertaken by the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PEBACC) in the Solomon Islands has been presented with the 2018 Sustainable Management Award in the Internationally Funded Category by the Australia and New Zealand Institute for Sustainable Management (ANZISM).
Led by Australia-based consultancy group BMT, the assessment refined and applied ESRAM methodology developed by SPREP for the PEBACC project. BMT engaged local stakeholders over a period of two years to map ecosystem types; define key ecosystem functions and services; identify threats to these functions and services; and identify and prioritise ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) interventions to improve ecosystem health and increase community resilience to climate change.
“This award gives due recognition to the time and effort put in by a cross-section of stakeholders in Solomon Islands and it should be celebrated by everyone involved. We also commend the team at BMT for the high quality of work they produced,” said Mr Herman Timmermans, PEBACC Project Manager at SPREP.
ANZISM President, Mr Alan Tupicoff, said, “This award is bestowed for excellence in the integration of sustainable management practices and achievement in implementing global sustainability principles, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
The EbA approach focuses on building the resilience of local communities and countries to climate change through the protection and restoration of ecosystems. It is based on the understanding that healthy and intact ecosystems are resilient and therefore provide a natural and effective buffer to climate change impacts.
Activities could include the strengthening of conservation-related policies and practices, reforestation to stabilise slopes and reduce flood risks, replanting of watershed areas to reduce soil erosion; while also supporting secondary benefits from the use of these ecosystems, for example provision of food, shelter, water, medicine, income and domestic use.
Mr Fred Patison, SPREP PEBACC Solomon Islands Country Manager stated that the EbA approach is most relevant to communities in the Solomon Islands where 80 percent of the people live a subsistence livelihood and are dependent on natural ecosystems and ecosystem services for everyday needs.
“When implemented and managed effectively, EbA can be cost-effective, with low infrastructure requirements, and the potential to be self-sustaining,” said Mr Patison.
The PEBACC Solomon Islands component is being implemented with communities in Wagina island in Choiseul province, Barana communities in Guadalcanal province and in two locations in Honiara, the country’s capital.
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, as part of the International Climate Initiative.
The award-winning Solomon Islands reports can be accessed at www.sprep.org/pebacc/pebacc-esources.