BY ALFREED PAGEPITU
The fate of the Solomon Islands environment is intricately connected with political decisions and economic choices, says Dr Melchior Mataki.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Dr Melchior Mataki said that since independence, there have not been any serious discussions and policy directives to rationalize environmental and economic objectives.
He said the decisions and economic interaction with governance institutions and the society is solely dependent on natural resource extraction to drive its economy.
Mataki said that despite a lot of environmental issues, this contributed significantly to the demise of the environment in the country.
“It is incumbent on all of us, and especially the government to reconcile economic and environmental objectives through appropriate laws and policies, programmes and how it plans and organizes our economy and society.
“This transition can be credited to individuals and environmental NGOs,” he said.
Mataki said the Government and its partners have scaled up this approach through national projects such as the Tina River Hydropower Project and Pacific Ecosystem based Adaptation to Climate Change Project.
However, he said that more of this type of developments needs to be done. The thinking that the environment is limitless and resilient to all forms of human perturbations forms the basis of development and natural resource management globally.