BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
A Botanical Garden Management Committee has been established in a meeting on Wednesday at HCC to oversee and revitalise the Honiara Botanical Garden.
Over the years, the Honiara’s National Botanical garden has been destructed by social issues and its integrity and purposes was lost when it comes to recreational, research and international visitors.
Currently, Botanical garden is known as place housing drugs and substance abuse users, thief, prostitute and illegal settlers with semi-permanent building, according to the assessment HCC gathered lately.
Several demolitions were conducted by the Honiara City Council recently but as soon as authorities left, people build houses after which impedes lots of concern towards authorities for consideration.
However, the fight is not over, yesterday SPREP in partnership with HCC and Ministry of Forestry and Research have formed a Botanical Garden Management Committee.
The gathering was the first ever meeting with setting up of new committee after it was died out in 1970s.
Following that, the meeting also set discussion around two Terms of References before kick-starting the overseeing body.
HCC Clerk Mr Charles Kelly as co-chair said Botanical garden is like a forest in the city, and it’s the only place which families, friends and International visitors can enjoy the environment but it’s gone.
With the idea to revive botanical, Mr Kelly welcome such initiative saying it might take a lot of logistics but Council can’t do it but with team work it will open for effective development.
SPREP Country Manager Mr Fred Siho Patison said when they did cost benefit analysis assessment at Botanical garden they realize there are controversial issues but there’s no governance mechanism.
With the governance of the new committee it would be a good starting point where stakeholders can talk to each other and formulate effective strategies to manage the botanical garden, he adds.
Meanwhile, the formulation of Honiara Botanical Garden was in 1960 inspired under four fundamental pillars.
It was aim for establishing scientific/Biological Research, Plant and Biodiversity Conservation, Education and Demonstration and Amenity and Recreation purposes.
Currently, Botanical Garden sits as fifth Division under the Ministry of Forestry and Research and HCC is the rightful owner.
The meeting yesterday was organized by SPREP—Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.