Conservation with development vital

Serious emphasis into integrating conservation and any development aspiration at the national, provincial and community level should be an approach to balancing the equation to the country’s today’s growing issues.

Undersecretary Technical, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Chanel Iroi highlighted at the Integrated Forest Management (IFM) Project inception workshop with provincial government heads and relevant agencies of Malaita Province held in Auki, the provincial capital early this week.

“The country has come far in its development aspirations and many of us have witnessed certain forms of destruction to our natural environment.

“That, the national government through its leading ministries under this Integrated Forest Management Project; the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM), the Ministry of Forestry and Research (MoFR) including the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) – would like to see a balance in conservation and development – so that one does not override the other.

“That is by keeping national developments at pace while also maintaining environment conditions.

“This does not mean stopping any developments, but whilst developments continue; we must be also conscious of the approach in a sustainable way by proper and good resource management practices.”

He says the essence is to ensure that our future generations who will depend on these resources will enjoy the same as we do today.

The Undersecretary also noted the importance of IFM Project inception workshop towards building a partnership amongst all relevant stakeholders as key to the project’s success.

“The objective of the inception workshop is basically to facilitate the process, to provide information within the project to all relevant stakeholders at the provincial level and also for the project to seek and learn from you the key provincial sectors about the issues and the status of efforts relevant to this project.

“These are issues that relates to climate change, environment and conservation, sustainable land use management, sustainable forest management and development issues in general.”

Food and Agriculture Organisation under the United Nations as the implementing agency for the Project has also indicated its appreciation to the partners in IFM Project towards this undertaking.

Solomon Islands FAO representative, Mrs Rosemary Kafa make mention specifically acknowledging the Malaita Provincial Government and landowning communities for willingly accept to venture into the IFM project.

Malaita Provincial Secretary, Frederick Fa’abasua on the other hand says they are part of the national government, thus whatever programs as such they are grateful to be part of such important undertaking.

He also urges provincial participants to make good use and contribute constructively through discussions and see into what they can help contribute in whatever form.

The Provincial Secretary also expresses his gratitude that the province is fortunate to be identified and chosen as one of the five provinces to play host to the Integrated Forest Management Project.

Malaita Province is amongst four other provinces identified as one of the key partners under the IFM project – with a pilot project site at Are’Are Maramasike in the Southern region.

Integrated Forest Management (IFM) Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) via its 5th cycle for the Solomon Islands through the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

IFM Project’s implementation will be an integrated landscape approach to strengthen sustainable forest and protected area management in the Solomon Islands.

It is designed to address the three Rio Conventions, namely the UN Convention on Biological Diversity; the Convention to Combat Desertification, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

With particular focus on the forest sector as the most appropriate sector that integrates all the areas of concern related to climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation.

Four other identified pilot sites are on Choiseul, Western, Makira and Guadalcanal Provinces respectively. Similar inception workshops have been done with their provincial governments and identified pilot project site communities. – IFM Media

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