More than 80 men and women of the Southern Mount Maetabe catchment area (Babatana rainforest catchment area) in Choiseul Province have successfully attended the Protected Areas management and enforcement training last week.
The two days training was held at the Malangono Station Conference hall on Tuesday 27th and 28th April 2021 and organized by the Natural Resources Development Foundation (NRDF) and the Integrated Forest Management Project (IFMP) as part of the ongoing Protected Areas establishment efforts in the southern Mt Maetabe
The main objectives of the training workshop were to support the participants to understand the enforcement laws and regulations under the PA Act including other related environmental laws, roles/responsibilities outlined in their Management Plans; ensure participants be equipped with skills and knowledge to monitor, report and enforce protected areas breaches or offences to enforcement authorities
The participants involved included members of the Protected Areas (PA) Management Committees, Rangers and nominated Inspectors of the Sirebe Forest Conservation Area, Siporae Tribal Forest Conservation Area, Padezaka Tribe, Vuri Clan Forest Conservation Area and Garasa Tribal Conservation Area.
Both the Sirebe and Siporae Tribal Forest Conservation Areas are legally declared protected areas under the Protected Areas Act 2010 (since 2019), protecting a total of 1400 hectares of their forest.
The other three tribes are still working towards declaring portions of their forested land under the PA Law.
The facilitators at the workshop were staff from the Environment and Conservation Division (ECD), Office of Director of the Public Prosecution (ODPP), Solomon Islands Environmental law Association (SIELA), Solomon Islands Rangers Association (SIRA) and Choiseul Provincial representatives (Forestry and Police).
Other important stakeholders who also attended were representative from the Choiseul Provincial Government (CPG), Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Live and Learn (L&L) and Ecological Solutions Foundation (ESF).
Speaking at the closure of the training, the participants were enthusiastic about the training since it is the first of its kind ever organised for them and they look forward to more similar training
The organisers have conveyed their sincere gratitude to the Aid Donors (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Bread for the World and the Food and Agriculture Organisation) also partners, stakeholders and the resource owners for assistance in recognising the importance of forest conservation.
Source. Island Sun newspaper.