The six Coral Triangle countries-Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste-each have evolving systems of marine protected areas (MPAs) at the national and local levels. More than 1,900 MPAs covering 200,881 km2 (1.6% of the exclusive economic zone for the region) have been established within these countries over the last 40 years under legal mandates that range from village level traditional law to national legal frameworks that mandate the protection of large areas as MPAs.
Mangroves are an important resource for the rural coastal people of Solomon Islands. Mangrove forests are critical for food security and the livelihoods of coastal communities in Solomon Islands. In particular, mangroves are an important source of food (e.g. fish, mangrove fruit, shells and crabs) and timber (e.g. for firewood and building materials).
The AusAID Development Research Project: Poverty Alleviation, Mangrove Conservation and Climate Change: Carbon offsets as payment for mangrove ecosystem services in Solomon Islands (# 49892) was designed to evaluate the potential for mangrove carbon revenue programs in Solomon Islands. The approach was to address three main questions: (1) How are mangrove ecosystem goods and services currently used and valued by coastal populations with a high reliance on a subsistence economy? (2) What is the total carbon stock held in mangrove ecosystems?
Livelihoods in Solomon Islands are diverse, composed of a wide range of activities. The marketing of marine resources through value chains is an important component of this livelihood portfolio in many parts of the country. Gendered analysis of marine resource value chains can identify key entry points for equitable improvement of the livelihoods of those participating in these value chains. Case studies of two Solomon Islands communities (one each from Western and Isabel Provinces) provide insight into this issue.
Inshore marine resources play an important role in the livelihoods of Pacific Island coastal communities. However, such reliance can be detrimental to inshore marine ecosystems. Understanding the livelihoods of coastal communities is important for devising relevant and effective fisheries management strategies. This study examined livelihood considerations within fisheries governance in a contemporary Pacific Island setting.
There are about 30 species of mangroves in Solomon Islands, representing 40% of the world’s mangrove species. They can be found on most islands and it is estimated that mangroves here cover an area of about 50 000 hectares. Mangroves are an important resource for livelihoods of rural coastal communities. However there is not an endless supply. Communities need to plan now to think about developing ways to help conserve and protect mangroves for future generations.
The sustainable management of small-scale fisheries in coral reef ecosystems constitutes a difficult objective not least because these fisheries usually face several worsening pressures, including demographic growth and climate change. The implications are crucial in terms of food security as fish represents the major protein source for local populations in many regions reliant on small-scale fisheries. The case of the Solomon Islands’ fishery presented in this paper represents an illustrative example of these issues.
Periodically-harvested fisheries closures are emerging as a socially acceptable and locally implementable way to balance concerns about conserving ecosystem function and sustaining livelihoods. Across the Indo-Pacific periodically-harvested closures are commonly employed, yet their contribution towards more sustainable fisheries remains largely untested in the social and ecological context of tropical small-scale fisheries.
Fish is crucial to food and nutrition security in Solomon Islands, and demand is expected to increase due to a growing population. However, it is projected that current capture fisheries production will not meet this growing demand. Aquaculture has the potential to mitigate the capture fishery shortfall, and the Government of Solomon Islands is prioritizing aquaculture as a solution to meet future food and income needs. Aquaculture in Solomon Islands is still in early development.
The Solomon Islands is one of the CT6 countries that have signed on to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) (FAO 2003a). In doing so, they have agreed to implement EAFM into national policy and fisheries management (USCTI 2011). Although there has been a significant time lag in its translation, there has been some progress more recently in this regard. A review of the policy relevant to the national implementation of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) is presented here.