Local program framework for conservation in SI

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BY ELLISON.T.VAHI

THE Solomon Islands has endorsed the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which provides a national framework for conservation across the country.

The national framework has been establishes since 2008, when a National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) for the country was produced for climate change, as required under United Nations Framework of the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

According to the National policy framework for conservation endorsed under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, Parties to the CBD adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, a ten-year framework for action by all countries and stakeholders is to safeguard biodiversity and the benefits it provides to people.

One of the new targets (Target 11) of this strategic plan requires that all countries ensure that by 2020, at least 17 percent of their terrestrial and inland water and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas are conserved through ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas.

In 2009, to support the CBD commitments, the Solomon Islands Ministry of Environment, Climate change, Disaster and Meteorology (MECDM) produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and supported a desktop GAP analysis to identify conservation priority areas across the entire country.

While identifying conservation and climate change priority areas at a national scale is an important step, conservation success in the Solomon Islands will only occurs when local communities support the initiatives, as access and utilization of land and near shore areas is linked to traditional occupation systems.

Therefore, in order for provincial wide conservation planning to be meaningful, it is critical to work with landowners and provincial governments to identify their conservation priorities.

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