SOLOMON ISLANDS AND CTSP
© James Morgan/CTSP
The waters of Solomon Islands form part of the Coral Triangle. This area of 648 million hectares – off the coasts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste – holds the world's highest diversity of marine life.
Eighty percent of all Indo-Pacific seagrove meadows – which support threatened wildlife including dugongs and turtles – can be found in the waters of the Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands has a population of around 500,000 people most of whom rely on the small nation's coastal resources for their livelihoods. Eighty percent of all Indo-Pacific seagrass species – which support threatened wildlife including dugongs and turtles – can found in the waters of the Solomon Islands. Good management of these precious marine areas will benefit the people not just in Solomon Islands but those livinging throughout the whole Coral Triangle region.
By 2030, consumption of fish in Solomon Islands will exceed production – a serious threat to food security
COUNTRY FACT FILE
© James Morgan/CTSP
Made up of over 1,000 islands, Solomon Islands' waters are teeming with marine biodiversity. However, they're also extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Fish supplies are dwindling and food security has become an increasing concern in many parts of the country.
- There are 494 species of coral and 1,019 species of marine fishes in the Solomon Islands.
- With only 33 km of paved roads, boats are the main method of transport.
- The monsoon season makes communication between islands limited for six months of the year.
- 90% of the population's dietary protein comes from fish.
- In rural areas, fish consumption is not nearly enough to provide healthy levels of protein.
PEOPLE ARE TAKING ACTION TO PROTECT THEIR FUTURE FOOD SUPPLIES
© James Morgan/CTSP
Solomon Islands is a nation made up of hundreds of coastal communities spread amongst hundreds of islands. The geographical spread of these people means that coastal resources are managed by local people and their local-level governments.
Lack of technical skills, scientific data, and resources (such as equipment and fuel) can hinder the ability for local-level decision-makers to develop plans that truly ensure the ongoing health of their precious marine resorces.
CTSP supports local governments in Solomon Islands by sharing expertise and data to help boost the knowledge and confidence of local decision makers. The National Plan of Action, which was created with the help of CTSP to support the regional plans of the CTI-CFF, prioritizes community-based management as a way to safeguard fish supplies and livelihoods for the people experiencing food insecurity.
CTSP also helps build the capacity of community organizations such as the Gizo Marine Conservation Area Management Committee and the Tetepare Descendants Association in Western Province so that they develop local programs which support the national plan.
Since CTSP began supporting work in Solomon Islands in 2009, the people and governments have established seven new policies which ensure marine resources are well managed on a national, district, and local level.
Planning for climate change
With CTSP support, WorldFish rapidly assess the vulnerability of coastal communities to climate change – giving local people the knowledge they need to plan ahead. CTSP work in Solomon Islands uses data collection to involve and empower communities and conducts group discussions, household interviews, and training in the Local Early Action Plan, also known as the LEAP.
Sharing best practice
CTSP supported the development of the Best Practice Guidelines for Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Solomon Islands. Using these guidelines, community organizations including the GERUSA Natural Resource Management Network and the Gizo Marine Conservation Area Management Committee safeguard the future of their coastal resources.
Protecting endangered species
Solomon Islands is home to dugongs, dolphins, and five of the seven species of marine turtles, all of which are threatened or critically endangered. With CTSP support, volunteer rangers in Western Province monitor and tag turtle populations using their “turtle rodeo” skills – a spectacular combination of water acrobatics and free-diving.