Letters of mine to the local media over a considerable period of time have highlighted many of the significant challenges facing the Solomon Islands government in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level.
I would suggest that readers, particularly external readers of my BLOG www.solomonislandsinfocus.com download and study the excellent and comprehensive Solomon Islands Voluntary National Review 2020. released two months ago, for a much better understanding of the blueprint for sustainable development for the country.
The VNR sets out the vision and priorities for advancing human and economic development, ensuring peace and security and the protection of the natural environment, as integrated into the National Development Strategy (NDS), through five long-term objectives of: inclusive economic growth; poverty reduction; access to quality health and education; resilient and environmentally sustainable development; and effective governance.
For external readers, one must take into consideration that the Solomon Islands is the third largest archipelago in the South Pacific, comprising a total of 997 islands spread over an exclusive economic zone of 1,340,000km2. The population is 639,157 and predominantly rural. There is also a very large informal sector. The level of biodiversity in the Solomon Islands is globally recognized. While such complexity and diversity provide opportunities, they also pose significant challenges in the Solomon Islands efforts to achieve the SDGs, and especially since climate change and the fight to ward off COVID-19 significantly impacts on the national economy,