BY AGNES MENANOPO
DIRECTOR General for Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), Kosi Latu was pleased to have witnessed another great initiative and milestone that SPREP has contributed in establishing a community nature park in the country.
The Barana Community Nature and Heritage Park and Environment and Resilience Centre was a SPREP initiated projected in North West Guadalcanal.
Latu said SPREP was pleased to have been able to demonstrate through this project that they can all come together as stakeholders to deliver such an important project that will benefit community people.
“What we have achieved today in the launching of the nature park and this resilience office, the nursery and all of the other good outcome that has come as a result of this project, is something that we must be proud of.
“This is something that we should replicate in other provinces throughout the Solomon Islands, and also the opportunity to replicate it to the rest of the Pacific,” said Latu.
“This project speaks of many good things, we are talking about nature conservation in its core, we’re talking about rivers and forests, we’re talking about Nature Park that will be established for the first time here in the Solomon Islands and will reap potential benefits not only in the ecosystem but also conservation,” he said.
He said that the concept of the project that is being implemented is based around the concept of ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change.
He told the gathering that SPREP speaks about the use of renewable energy to reflect the importance of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and about resilience, which at the core of the project, is about the resilience of the community.
“It’s a fancy name which describes the use of natural solutions such as forests, rivers, and natural surroundings and trying to amplify the benefits of these ecosystems provided in terms of important services.
“Improving your livelihoods, providing renewable energy, providing a source of clean water, providing a resilience that will be important in the future generations of this community and that’s what this project is all about.
“It’s not about infrastructure, it’s about going back to nature, conservation, going back to the traditions and practices that we have practiced in past generations.
“And we’re now using it and demonstrating the benefit of the services that our surrounding ecosystems provide for us,” Latu said.
Latu acknowledged the support, the funding and the partnership of all of the partners that have come together to make this possible.
He acknowledged Barana Community, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through the Small Grounds program and the Government of Germany through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for their funding and contributions.
He also thanked Solomon Islands Government (SIG) through the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) for working closely with SPREP to achieve the great initiatives.
“We appreciate your support, we appreciate your commitment to making this a true example, not just for the Solomon Islands but this practice is also for the rest of the pacific.
“This project site boasts as a good practice for other provinces in the Solomons but also for the rest of the pacific region,” Latu said.