Exploring Nature-Based Sustainable Livelihoods Through Community Dialogues in East Rennell, Solomon Islands
With support from the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust, community meetings were held in each of the four villages in the East Rennell World Heritage site on 28 April and 1 May 2022, to explore potential nature-based, sustainable livelihoods in East Rennell that would be compatible with the World Heritage values.
East Rennell is the first natural property inscribed on the World Heritage List with customary ownership and management. The property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2013 due to multiple threats to the site, notably posed by commercial logging and mining. This is critically linked to the absence of sustainable livelihoods for the people in East Rennell, who are the custodians of the World Heritage site.
Under the leadership of the Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association, each community undertook a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis and identified existing challenges and opportunities in East Rennell. While multiple challenges were voiced by the communities, including lack of basic infrastructure and increased food insecurity linked to COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and invasive alien species, potential livelihood options were identified, such as the sustainable use of locally available resources from coastal and lake fisheries and aquaculture.
Building on the outcomes of the community meetings, a stakeholder consultation meeting will be convened in Honiara on 31 May 2022, bringing together key stakeholders, including community representatives, line ministries, provincial government, NGO partners and experts to discuss and identify together concrete actions towards the development of nature-based, sustainable livelihoods in East Rennell.