BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
Solomon Islands Rangers office in partnership with the Ahetaha Water Conservation Association Project Coordinator has strengthened the capacity of local rangers from both Ahetaha Water Conservation and To’okina Tribal Land Conservation in Manawai Harbour, East Are’Are Malaita province.
On November 22nd to 24th, Solomon Islands Rangers in partnership with AWCA facilitated three days rangers training on the following areas;
a. Freshwater species data survey
b. undertake training on a transect along the coastal zone, undertake seagrass and data collection.
c. GPS training on the importance of using GPS, registering your device, satellite signals, waypoints, creating waypoints, and creating a route.
The activity was made possible with AWCA’s phase two 2- funding under its UNDP/GEF Small Grant Programme.
The training sessions were facilitated by two Solomon Islands Rangers Technical and Professionals, Mr. Albert Kwatelae and Mr. Amson Rehowauri.
The training was attended by 23 participants (nine females) from AWCA and its sister conservation group namely; To’okina Tribal Land Conservation.
This is part and parcel of the broader rollout of the local rangers and will support the preparedness efforts of AWCA and To’okina rangers’ work and resourcing their respective ranger’s daily operations.
The To’okina Ranger who is part of the participants attending the training, Mr. Tom Leslie Kurawauri thanked Solomon Islands Rangers and AWCA’s support towards building the capacity of local rangers at their doorstep.
“We are grateful indeed for the partnership with Solomon Islands Rangers and AWCA. This allowed us to build our capacity to prepare and respond to rangers’ work on the ground, including the technical capability of rangers to support our conservation initiatives in our management plan and implementation,’’ he said.
The General Secretary of Solomon Islands Rangers and AWCA Coordinator, Mr. Eddie Huitarau, noted the important role community conservation rangers have in supporting rangers’ work at the sites to prepare for their work program activities.
“I have recently visited rangers working in other provinces. In each case, the Solomon Islands Rangers provides an essential service to communities often separated by a significant distance. Solomon Islands Rangers is so pleased to be part of this strong partnership to upskill local rangers to carry out responsibilities,’’ echoed Huitarau.
Solomon Islands Rangers Office President and the Technical specialist, Mr Albert Kwatelae, reiterated the commitment to support AWCA rangers’ technical skills capacity building and broader effort on conservation work in the rural communities.
Mr. Kwatelae said that through coordination, collaboration, and ongoing support from all development partners, the Solomon Islands Rangers has a strong plan for more training to equip rangers with rights skills and knowledge to perform their role accurately and appropriately.
“UNDP will continue to work alongside SIRA and international partners to support the rural communities’ ability to understand, communicate, while effectively managing the natural resources that remain,” he said.
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