BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
SOLOMON Islands Ministry of Environment and Conservation Division, Deputy Director, Joseph Hurutarau has called for the preservation and conservation of the country’s most precious natural resources – plants, water and others to protect the environment.
Joseph Hurutarau pointed out that during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, people fall back on depending on the environment and its natural resources to save lives.
“All of us should take initiatives that can keep our natural resources like plants, water, and others healthy. It will be the greatest service to your community and country if we protect our natural resources from pollution, logging, and other destructive activities.”
He said local foods, vegetables, marine resources, herbs, and other essential natural remedies have played a significant role during the covid-19 pandemic, and by now people should realize how conservation is vital.
“We survived a stage where we wouldn’t be allowed to shop or move around where the only option is for us to depend on our land, ocean, and the natural resources for our survival or medicines,’’ he said.
Hurutarau said that if the country is faced with the worst situation, people will go back and depend on the land, ocean, and natural resources.
“Just imagine if there’s an outbreak in the future and it happened that there is a tight restriction to movements of people, vessels, and the disruption of the global trade and marketing. We’ll go back to these resources.
“In this case, you can go to the sea to fish as money would no longer be in use, or you can cultivate the land for free food while you cannot have access to money, or processed cooked food.
“The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic nearly reached such a situation and if it does happen again we have to have healthy land, ocean, and resources.
“It almost happened during the Covid-19 where money nearly loses its importance or value, because you cannot move around, do business, we are locked up and therefore you have to plant food near your home for your survival,’’ he said.
He said that this opportunity seemed to be enjoyed by those at the rural level during the covid-19 as they fish freely from the ocean and harvest freely from the land.
“So if you conserve your resources you are lucky as you will depend on them for many years. So by conserving our resources, I would say that it is good for our future because we don’t know what is coming, maybe famine is coming, maybe another pandemic is coming,’’ he said.
He said when we protect, conserve and manage our resources in a sustainable way it contributes a lot in one way or the other, such as building our knowledge or capacity which also helped the relief of harvest which we depend on for our livelihood.
“It will also help us in terms of our health for example extracting herbal medicines for treating certain sicknesses and so, yes I have seen that there are multiple benefits in terms of conservation.”