Members of the IUCN RIT for East Melanesia were honoured to join the Ecological Solutions Solomon Islands (ESSI) team as they conducted tribal meetings in South Choiseul last week.
ESSI are undertaking a 3 phase project in the Mt Maetambe and Kolobangara River KBA on Choiseul, Solomon Islands. The first phase involved a comprehensive survey of the KBA and was completed in 2014 (final report here).
The second phase has involved working in partnership with customary landowners of Mount Maetambe to Kolobangara River Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) to map their customary land. The aim was to strengthen the ownership and tenure rights here, as well as recording the genealogy of each tribe.
The next stage for ESSI is to use this baseline information to set the foundation for future conservation actions such as formal protection of the KBA and the promotion of alternative income sources for local communities.
The RIT team were able to witness some of these alterative options, such as bee farming and freshwater aquaculture production; activities to be carried out with local partner the Natural Resources Development Foundation (NRDF) and Queensland University of Technology.