WWF adds value to sea grapes

BY MORRIS NAFU

In a bid to empower rural communities and promote sustainable resource management, the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Solomon Islands has unveiled a pioneering initiative centered around sea grapes, locally known as seaweed in an official launching ceremony yesterday.

The event was held at the Honiara Hotel Conference room, marked a significant milestone for the organization as it introduced products derived from sea grapes, including soups and body lotions.

Funded through support from the Australian Government aid, the initiative aims to bolster economic opportunities for rural populations by harnessing the potential of sea grapes.

These efforts align closely with the Solomon Islands government’s National Plan of Action (NPOA), emphasizing community-based resource management for sustainable development.

The event provided opportunity for invited guests to sample these newly developed products, showcasing their resourcefulness and local appeal.

The initiative initially involves four communities from the Western province, particularly those in the Roviana Lagoon area.

WWF plans to expand production sites to include more communities, thus broadening economic access and opportunities as they plan to expand the program.

A core focus of the initiative is to empower women by integrating them into business operations, thereby promoting gender equality and fostering sustainable practices rooted in traditional knowledge and scientific insights.

WWF, which has been active in the Solomon Islands for over a decade and also operates in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, continues to lead conservation efforts while supporting community-driven initiatives.

The launch underscores WWF’s commitment to innovative environmental stewardship and community development, offering a promising model for sustainable economic growth amidst challenges such as climate change.

As the initiative progresses, WWF aims to further enhance local livelihoods and contribute to long-term environmental sustainability in the region.

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