BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
ABOUT 10 local Journalists including five journalism students undertaking media studies at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) have attended a three days training workshop for journalists reporting on the Extractive Industries and Endemic species in the Solomon Islands.
And to sum up the training an excursion was made to the Barana Nature and Heritage Park, on the outskirts of Honiara on Friday to observe the park as part of the training Worksop.
The field trip was to expose Senior Journalists and media students to the field work and give them an opportunity to visit the park and officers of the Barana Nature and Heritage Park.
The training was organised by the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) to improve the knowledge and skills of Solomon Islands Journalists in reporting on environmental issues, especially the governance and impacts of the extractive industries, the endemic species export and the environmental implications of Covid-19.
David Hui, a media student said the field trip provided an opportunity for them to apply the knowledge and understanding of the subjects learned in class by observing the actual event, especially the training workshop and field trip to report on environment issues.
“It’s good to see and know other media personnel who attended the workshop as well.
“Such visit is very good for us student to learn more on how Organizations, Government Ministries and media work together”.
Another media student, Thompson Pada said such trip exposed the students to the real work done by journalists in the country and to learn and build relationship with the organization and the media.
Barana Nature and Heritage Park staff briefed Journalists on the background and history of the Barana Nature and Heritage Park.
The Barana Nature and Heritage Park is for community-based conservation in Solomon Islands.
Owned by the Barana Community, the park spans approximately 5,000 hectares of forest area in the upper catchment of the Mataniko river, one of the largest river catchments draining Honiara city.
Management objectives include the conservation and rehabilitation of vulnerable ecosystems to safeguard their role in building social and economic resilience to climate change.
The park includes an Environment and Resilience Resource Centre built using traditional designs.
The area also includes a number of World War II viewpoints and battle sites which makes it an important part of the heritage of the greater Honiara.
Development of the park will include activities such as reforestation to reduce flood risks, replanting of stream or watershed areas to reduce soil erosion, sustainable land-use management activities, land-use mapping, development of eco-tourism activities and nature-based income generation activities.
The development of the park formed part of SPREP’s assistance to Solomon Islands under its Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC) project. The project was selected following a comprehensive and participatory ‘ecosystem and socio-economic resilience analysis and mapping’ (ESRAM) study carried out for Honiara.
Local journalists were eager to ask questions and have learned allot about the Nature and Heritage park history and challenges.
One organizer of the training, Priestly Habru encouraged the participants to continue in their career in the media to report on environment issues affecting the country.
Habru thanked the Journalists for their participation and observations during the field trip to the Barana community.
“The Journalist are very enthusiastic and asked lots of questions,” said Habru.
“I would like to thank the Barana Nature and Heritage Park for arranging such a visit for our participants,” he added