BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
ZAIRA, a remote community located on the weathercoast of Vangunu Island at Marovo lagoon in the Western province has been battling to conserve its land.
Mai-Maasina Green belt Association vice chairman, Mr. Eddie Huitarau said they have discovered the issue during their recent look and learn visit to conservation groups last month.
Mr. Huitarau said that the Zaira people have been working for a decade to have their land declared a protected area.
He said that the community is fending off another attempt by a logging company to plunder its untouched forests.
He stated that the land is on the southern side of Vangunu Island.
He said his team was part of a development consent during their visit.
“We were part of key partners and stakeholders who stood with the people of Zaira during the development consent hearing held at Zaira community held recently,” said Huitarau.
He said that the whole house totally opposed logging operations on Monday 18th October 2021 development consent hearing.
“Other key partners that stood with Zaira community include Live & Learn Solomon Islands, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Solomon Islands Rangers, and Mai Maasina Green Belt Association.
The eight-conservation associations which traveled under Mai Maasina Green Belt for the look and learn trip to Western province on Sunday 3 to 30 last month are:
Ahetaha Water Conservation, Baru Conservation Alliance, Kira-Taka taka Tribal Conservation, Ora Tribal Conservation, Po’otori People’s Foundation, Raripaina Biodiversity Conservation, To’okina Tribal Land Conservation, and Wai-Hau Conservation Foundation.
He said amongst the Travelling team are Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) country Coordinator Mr. Raju Ravin Dhari and Solomon Islands Rangers Association President Mr. Albert Kwatelae.
According to Eddie Huitarau, the trip was a success story for Mai–Maasina Green Belt Association.