Many conservation areas in the Solomon Islands have rangers working as monitors and tour guides, and taking on these skills has often relied solely on the approach of learning by looking.
Under a grant awarded by CEPF to the University of Queensland, and in partnership with the Solomon Islands National University, Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership (SICCP) and Ecological Solutions Solomon Islands (ESSI), a Ranger-specific Training course was held in Honiara in October 2015. In the first ever training of its kind, this brought together Rangers, managers and naturalists from across Solomon Islands to learn skills and knowledge relevant to their work.
Through methodology, case studies, and hands on field activities, rangers were taught subjects such as Conservation in Solomon Islands, Eco-Tourism, Sustainable Development and Sustainable Financing. First Aid Training was conducted by Red Cross Solomon Islands and a visiting team of representatives from the Thin Green Line, Global Leadership Foundation and Queensland National Parks. Though a strenuous two weeks, the Rangers were equipped with skills and knowledge, and provided some equipment to carry on with their duties at their respective sites.
Due to the increasing recognition that rangers require a specific skill set and networking opportunities to exercise their roles, the Solomon Islands Rangers Association (SIRA) has also been established. At the end of the training course, a formal meeting was conducted, electing an Executive Committee for SIRA. SIRA will work closely with SICCP as it continues to establish itself in Solomon Islands.
A video clip of the course can be seen here