MARAVA Community at the lower footings of Tina River and Mount Popomaneseu on central Guadalcanal is kicking off activities with the engagement of the Integrated Forest Management (IFM) project, through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
This follows on from a recent inception meeting held with the province and the community with support from the government executing agencies, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Ministry of Forest and Research, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, with further engagements and consultations conducted by the IFM Provincial Field Coordinator.
The first activity that is now kicking off based on community preference is to have a central seedling nursery geared towards reforestation and afforestation which are linked to component four of the project but in close connection with other components as well.
The Ministry of Forest and Research as one of the key stakeholders to IFM project under its Reforestation Department will provide the guidance and technical support towards establishing the central seedling nursery.
Tribal representative, Mr Simri welcomes IFM project’s efforts to collaborate with Marava and the surrounding communities connected with the Tina River catchment and Mount Popomanaseu which is the general area that the IFM project is focussing on in Guadalcanal.
He stresses that the communities themselves saw the need to replant trees both native and exotic through close guidance from the technical ministries.
“The most important thing here is our efforts to collaborate as communities and IFM project together with other key stakeholders.
“This moment as we come together signifies our commitment to meeting some of the international, regional and national obligations, but goals also which are of paramount importance as we strive to conserve and protect our forest resources for our own good and for the benefit of our future generations.”
He said they have come a long way through many challenges and faced with many good and bad things; and they are very keen to see this IFM project go through a good and safe passage with significant amount of achievements.
“We the surrounding communities and the people here stand ready to work hand in hand with the IFM project and its many key stakeholders.”
IFM Project Coordinator, Douglas Yee thanked the communities and their people especially the resource owners and tribal leaders for their understanding and for allowing the project a go ahead on their land.
He said the commitment shown and positive notions displayed indicate your interest to taking this project into the next stage. This is very much welcoming.
“The project team with close collaboration by its Provincial Field Coordinator is looking forward to working together and to establish a committee that should be formally recognised by the project and other institutional setups in delivering the large sets of activities under each of the components of the project.”