BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
The future of SI “does not belong to Job seekers, but job creators and entrepreneurs.
This was according to Solomon Islands Rangers-General Secretary and Mai-Maasina Green Belt (MMGB) Vice Chairman, Mr. Eddie Huitarau when speaking during the ‘Are’are Leaders land summit in Waisisi’ held recently from the 26th to 28th April 2021.
Mr. Huitarau was speaking on the topic: Environment and conservation of Are ‘are land which he addressed the participants on the role of Conservation and environment in the context of Are ‘Are land, towards protecting natural environment and see the value of growing up in the work of conservation as another path way.
He revealed that Malaita Island was only known as cold spot in terms of biodiversity baseline research, until in 2015 when Wai-Hau Conservation in partnership with Kansas University of USA found an interesting findings of an endemic bird species known as Myzomella.
“As a result, Malaita was put under spotlight and now became one of the Hotspot for biodiversity research and baseline findings in the country,” Huitarau told environmental media Solomon Islands Thursday this week.
He said a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2017 found that Solomon islands has a low concentration of fine particular matter in urban areas, and on May 8 2017 it was announced that Solomon islands has the cleanest air in the world.
“This means we have the cleanest air than anywhere else in the world, thus it is our only strength so let’s support it with alternative development model to add value to it. We are in an era where the future of SI “does not belong to Job seekers, but job creators and entrepreneurs,” Huitarau said.
According to the SI Rangers GS and MMGB Vice Chairman, one of the key economic business activity that brings income to livelihood is kava and now it is an important agricultural commodity in the country.
Huitarau said that eco-tourism is another key priority of MMGB where all conservation groups can have an Eco-Lodge setup at their site to cater for incoming visitors to experience the cultural and natural setting of the environment.
“These various Eco-Lodge will attract guests from around the world, who come as researchers, scientists, students and honeymooners to enjoy our pristine beauty and wildlife/birth watching opportunities of all our MMGB affiliated sites,” explained Huitarau.
“Honey product- Solomon Islands is a potential place to do this business and has the perfect conditions for commercial honey bee farming given its largely wild forests, coconut plantations and mangrove forests.
“These are places where a profitable honey industry could reveal if proper training is given hence by venturing into this business one don’t need a lot of space in terms of land to keep bees,’’ he said.
Mai-Maasina Green Belt conservations is currently working with SINU on a pilot project to bring tertiary education to the community level by given recognition and up skilling rangers in their own space.
The Are’Are Leaders Land summit recently held at Kopo village in Waisisi Harbour, Malaita. It was attended by Malaita province Deputy Premier Hon. Randall Sifoni and 430 participants including chiefs, church leaders, community leaders, women leaders and youth leaders coming from the 4 council of chiefs within Are ‘Are region namely: Namoaraha, Hahuarahana, Arahanimane and part of Raroisu’u of Small Malaita.