BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
MINISTER Dr Culwick Togamana has launched two key reports that will be set as building blocks for Solomon Islands Government’s commitment for delivery on integrated ocean management.
Last week, Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology Dr Togamana launched two report documents compiled by MACBIO—Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries.
The document is the country’s first report that shows 65 unique marine areas both inshore and offshore found by Solomon Islands’ marine expert.
The two reports are Special Unique Marine Area and Bioregion report.
With the Special Unique Marine Area report, Minister Togamana said it will be useful in making informed decisions about permit, coastal development, and environmental Impact assessments which is important for national marine planning.
He said government recognises the country’s marine environment that in February this year, it convened country’s marine expert to described entirety of Solomon’s MARINE environment from coast to outer bounds of exclusive economic zone.
The whole marine environment was divided into 26 deep water defined marine bioregions and 18 reef-associated bioregions, he said.
Besides is another report known as Bioregion, and this will allow Solomon Islands to improve its effort in complying with international commitments, Minister Togamana said.
He said crucial aspect about Bioregion report is it will encompasses government’s commitment on international issues such as ecologically representative network of marine protected areas as in the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Now, since the report is launched, Ocean 12 technical group will carry out wider consultation across the country as next step for developing a policy for Ocean.
“With these reports, final technical building blocks are in place for the country to start national discussion with all sectors, communities, traditional owners, industries and government’s all level,” he said.
He said the idea is how to spatially plan conflicting uses and values of Solomon Islands’ ocean can be better coordinated and managed.
Minister Tagamana on behalf of the SIG thanked the Ocean 12 technical working group and commended project partner MACBIO for successfully compiling the report.