Gov’t says it’s on track with relocation efforts

One of the artificial Islands in the Lau lagoon facing impacts of sea level rise.
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TECHNICAL studies and community consultation for the development of relocation guidelines for low-lying atolls and artificial islands vulnerable to climate change will commence soon as preparation and logistic work is finalised.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has contracted an international group in partnership with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey (MLHS) to develop the relocation guidelines for Solomon Islands in the context of climate change and other slow and sudden onset disasters.

This work is undertaken under the guidance of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee with representation from both Government and Non-Government stakeholders co-chaired by the Permanent Secretaries of MLHS and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology.

The study will involve consultations and interviews with stakeholders throughout the country including in-depth field studies in four communities that have been relocated to their present locations.

The key output of this study is to develop relocation guidelines for Solomon Islands. The project has been designed to ensure these guidelines will:

  • Respond to the priorities identified by the Advisory Committee and stakeholders,
  • Be informed by experiences with planned relocations in Solomon Islands, elsewhere in the Pacific, and globally,
  • Shaped by the widest possible consultations that available resources will allow, including with communities, and provincial and national-level stakeholders. As such, the results of the work will be widely communicated and consulted on throughout the project
  • In addition, the Solomon Islands Government for the benefit of all Solomon Islanders, especially those who may need to be relocated now and, in the future, will own the final product – the relocation guidelines –.

The Development of Relocation Guidelines is a Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) policy priority to guide the process to find amicable solutions for communities that are facing on-going challenges because of climate change and other disasters in their original islands.

The Advisory Committee will ensure that the national consultations are conducted in a transparent manner, and the rights and dignity of relocated persons are respected, and all due processes are fair, and sensitive to our cultures and the needs of our people and the Government.