Posted by : Posted on : 29-Oct-2019

His Royal Highness Prince of Wales, a passionate advocate for the environment, to visit the Solomon Islands.

It has been announced that His Royal Highness Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, will pay his first ever visit Solomon Islands next month.

The visit is at the invitation of the Solomon Islands Government.

According to the outlined program, Prince Charles upon arrival will receive an official welcome ceremony at the Government House and meet with the His Excellency the Governor General, Sir David Vunagi.

Daring the short visit, His Royal Highness will attend a number of public engagements including a reception.

His Royal Highness’ programme will focus on climate change and ocean governance where he will have the opportunity to launch “Solomon Islands National Ocean Policy” and the “Malaria Elimination Roadmap.”

While in Honiara Prince Charles will visit Parliament where he will make a brief address and meet with the Speaker of Parliament Patteson Oti as well as the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

His Royal Highness will also attend a short program to honour the service men and women including Solomon Island Scouts and Coastwatchers who had served during Pacific War campaign (World War II) in Solomon Islands.

The Prince will also spend time learning about sustainable fisheries management in the Pacific Ocean with a visit to the Forum Fisheries Agency Surveillance Centre.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and is currently heir to the British throne.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself visited Solomon Islands twice – in 1974 and 1982 and His Royal Highness, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and wife the Duchess of Cambridge, visited the Solomon Islands as part of their Asia tour in 2012.

Prince Charles is also passionate in caring for the environment and has voiced his concerns over climate, saying, in relation to the United Kingdom, he hoped its effects would not completely destroy efforts to preserve the countryside.

Prince Charles’ is known to enjoy planning trees and was quoted recently, as saying, “I love planting trees and trying to improve and enhance the environment to restore lost habitats and all these things,”

 “I just pray that climate change and all the horrors we are facing now if we don’t do something about it, won’t completely destroy all this effort.”

It seems fitting that His Royal Highness will launch: Solomon Islands National Ocean Policy (SINOP)

What is SINOP? Well, the Solomon Islands’ National Ocean Policy embraces the regional Blue Pacific and Pacific Oceanscape concepts for sustainable oceans management and translated the core principles into national action.

 The Solomon Islands National Ocean Policy (SINOP; SIG 2018) is aimed in safeguarding its rich fishing grounds that provide food security, livelihoods and government revenue. It is a useful example of the political and multi-jurisdictional commitment required to apply regional ocean frameworks nationally.

The policy was initiated by Prime Minister, the Hon Manasseh Sogavare, following the 2015 inaugural Oceans Summit in Honiara. It was a response to growing regional ocean pressures and national challenges — studies which predicted by 2030 fisheries will not meet local subsistence needs.

 Officers from 12 national ministries formed a working group, Ocean12, to develop the SINOP and build on existing policies and sectoral priorities, including those of fisheries, environment, and development planning. The aim being to make an ‘integrated effort, not one of competing silos’.

SINOP is opportune for it allows for the Solomon Islands, with its strong regional commitments to ocean governance, an opportune time to help others reflect on Solomon Islands’ experience of putting words into action.

His Royal Highness, Prime Charles’s brief program to honour the service men and women including Solomon Island Scouts and Coastwatchers who had served during Pacific War campaign (World War II) in Solomon Islands is highly significant.

The World War II Battle of Guadalcanal was the first major offensive and a decisive victory for the Allies in the Pacific theater. With Japanese troops stationed in this section of the Solomon Islands, U.S. marines launched a surprise attack in August 1942 and took control of an air base under construction. Reinforcements were funneled to the island as a series of land and sea clashes unfolded, and both sides endured heavy losses to their warship contingents. However, the Japanese suffered a far greater toll of casualties, forcing their withdrawal from Guadalcanal by February 1943.

By the end of the battle on February 9, 1943, the Japanese had lost two-thirds of the 31,400 army troops committed to the island, whereas the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army had lost less than 2,000 soldiers of about 60,000 deployed. The ship losses on both sides were heavy and the loss occurred, also, of HMAS Canberra which was lost in action with nine officers and 64 men going down with the sip.

Those Australian losses were the first of a total of 84 personnel who would die as a result of what we now know as the “Battle of Savo Island.” Also killed in the same were 949 American officers and sailors, motley from three US heavy cruisers that suffered the same fate as HMAS Canberra.

The epic story of the Battle of Guadalcanal is outlined in the book, “Where the Sun Stood Still’ and written by Don Richter in 1992.

In that now famous historical book, the author writes specifically about the valour and courage of Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwachers, including recounted the bravery of Sir Jacob Vouza. KBE, GM. MBE.

Prince Charles will honour those very brave heroes of the Solomon Islands when he pays tribute the Scouts and Coastwatchers Memorial in Honiara.

All the Scouts and Coasrwatchers displayed huge courage and outstanding bravery during the Japanese occupation of Guadanal but perhaps the bravery of Sir Jacob Vouza is best remembered for the bayoneting and torture he endured after capture by ememy forces.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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