HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS (22 April 2023) — The Solomon Islands Threshold Program, a partnership between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Solomon Islands Government, is proud to participate in Earth Day on April 22, 2023. Through a “Payment for Ecosystem Services” activity, the Program’s Forest Value Enhancement Project (FoVEP) aims to provide communities with economically viable alternatives to logging, a sector that has an unsustainable impact on the environment.
The world is losing 10 million hectares of forest each year due to deforestation – meaning that land about the size of Iceland or Cuba is disappearing every year. Almost 80 per cent of Solomon Islands is covered by forests, representing over 2.2 million hectares and is the country’s primary source of export revenue.
“FoVEP is an excellent example of investing in our planet. Forests are Solomon Islands’ most important natural asset, and FoVEP will help generate more reliable and sustainable benefits from the country’s natural forest resources,” Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Dr. Melchior Mataki said. “FoVEP will contribute by reducing negative environmental impacts, increasing revenues from forestry production, and promoting more equitable revenue disbursement to local communities. The project will also help attain a regulatory and enforcement framework that strikes a better balance between utilizing the forests for both logging and non-logging purposes,” Dr. Mataki said.
“The MCC-Solomon Islands Government partnership on FoVEP is a significant investment in the sustainability of our forest resources for both logging and non-logging purposes. The project has the potential to help communities to better manage their own natural resources and therefore ultimately build the capacity of the forestry sector to be more sustainable both at the national and community level,” Dr. Vaeno Vigulu said.
“Earth Day 2023 calls for individuals and organisations to invest time, resources, and energy into solving climate change and other challenging environmental issues with a call to act boldly, innovate broadly, and implement equitably,” MCC Resident Threshold Director Charles Jakosa said.
The Government of Solomon Islands and MCC, a U.S. Government international development agency, signed the Solomon Islands Threshold Program Grant Agreement in January 2022, formalizing a partnership that aims to encourage sustainable development and alleviate poverty. The US$20 million (approximately SBD 160 million) investment works to yield economic growth in the natural resource management and tourism sectors.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent and non-partisan U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. For more information, please go to https://sithp.com.sb.
- MCC MEDIA RELEASE