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Action for Sustainable Livelihoods in East Rennell, Solomon Islands

Wednesday, 6 July 2022
access_time 2 min read
© Teddy Kafo / Communications Office of the Prime Minister

With support from the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust, a hybrid-format Stakeholder Consultation Dialogue “Towards Developing Sustainable Livelihoods in the East Rennell World Heritage Site” was co-organised by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and UNESCO in Honiara on 31 May 2022.

Building on community meetings organised in East Rennell between 28 April and 1 May 2022, the consultation dialogue brought together key stakeholders, including representatives of local communities from East Rennell (including youth and women’s representatives), line ministries (Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development; Ministry of Environment and Conservation, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology; Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources), provincial government, NGOs, experts, and international and UN organisations. Together, they discussed concrete actions by respective stakeholders and joint collaborative efforts towards developing nature-based, sustainable livelihoods that are compatible with the World Heritage values. It was the first time since August 2017 that key stakeholders met together to discuss the future of the World Heritage site (https://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1719/).

In her opening remarks, Ms Sophie Liligeto (Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development / Solomon Islands National Commission for UNESCO) stressed the urgency of mobilising support for East Rennell in developing sustainable development:

“In view of continued food insecurity for local communities, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of climate change, there is an urgent need to develop sustainable income-generating alternatives for socio-economic development, against unsustainable, short-term solutions including commercial logging and mining. (…) This is considered critical in achieving the Desired State of Conservation for Removal of the Property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 2017, by complementing and strengthening on-going efforts to remove East Rennell from the List of World Heritage in Danger by 2025.”

Ms Nisha, Director and UNESCO Representative to the Pacific States, further highlighted the importance of promoting a Culture of Peace in considering livelihoods, where differences in opinion often exist.

A series of presentations were given on opportunities and challenges in East Rennell from the local, national and regional perspectives. Afterwards, experiences and lessons learnt were shared by governmental, non-governmental and international partners who are currently running various nature-based livelihood projects on the Solomon Islands and beyond, including a carbon trade project by Live & Learn and a community-based Coastal Resource Management programme by JICA and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. Thanks to the moderation by Mr Dennis Marita, Director of Culture of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, participants had active discussions and identified a list of priority actions towards the development of sustainable livelihoods in East Rennell. Guided by the Action Plan unanimously adopted by the meeting participants, UNESCO, the Solomon Islands Government and East Rennell communities will continue to work closely together to facilitate concrete actions on the ground in cooperation with other partners.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022
access_time 2 min read
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