The Solomon Islands have a limited number of protected areas established under Provincial Ordinance or Customary Law. Establishment of areas under the Protected Areas Act will increase the legal status of these areas and new areas identified by landowners and the government as requiring protection. Early evidence indicates that there is significant landowner interest in establishing PAs, and conservation areas, however there is a lack of clarity on how these will be funded and limited support to landowners and communities to undertake the relevant steps to establish PAs. Increasing capacity within MECDM to support PA establishment as well as promoting PA development, as part of approaches to land use planning will be important in establishing an effective PA network.
There are few terrestrial conservation areas and protected areas around the country;
- Kahua Conservation Association – Makira Ulawa Province
- Bauro Highland Conservation Association - Makira Ulawa Province
- Kolombangara Island Biodiversity Conservation Association – Western Province
- Tetepari Descendent Association
- NRDF – Western/Choiseul Provinces
- Others etc.
However, the conservation challenges and threats that the Solomon Islands face are common to most Pacific Island countries. The people have a high dependency on marine and terrestrial resources for subsistence and also for generating cash income. A number of threats and pressures exist on these marine and terrestrial resources including logging, overfishing, pollution and climate change. All of these factors are compounded by rapid population growth particularly in coastal areas. This leads to an increase in coastal development and additional pressure on both terrestrial and near-shore natural resources in the area.
There were many identified potential Protect Area and conservation sites around the country and compiled by SPC / GIZ during their Climate Protection through Forest Conservation in Pacific Island Countries, Solomon Islands National Planning Meeting June 2011. (see REDD+ Roadmap for these sites).