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Ridges to Reefs Conservation Plan for Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands

Lipsett-Moore, Geoff; Hamilton, Richard; Peterson, Nate ; Game, Edward; Atu, Willie; Kereseka, Jimmy; Pita, John; Ramohia, Peter; Siota, Catherine


Geoff Lipsett-Moore, Richard Hamilton, Nate Peterson, Edward Game, Willie Atu, Jimmy Kereseka, John Pita, Peter Ramohia and Catherine Siota (2010). Ridges to Reefs Conservation Plan for Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. TNC Pacific Islands Countries Report No. 2/10. 53 pp.
This Ridges to Reefs conservation plan is the culmination of the views of many. It harmonizes the local knowledge of the Lauru people with a modern conservation planning approach. It recognizes that what we do on the land has a profound effect on our streams, rivers and nearshore areas. The Lauru people have many traditions and customs pertaining to the management of their natural resources. But today some of these traditions have been lost, and the long term sustainability of Lauru is threatened by rapid population growth, expanding logging and mining activities and the looming threats of climate change. It was recognized by the community leaders of Lauru and the Choiseul Provincial Government that there was a need to plan wisely and protect key resources to ensure a bright future.
Mapping was used to identify threats to biodiversity (i.e. logging, mining and areas susceptible to climate change) and to map areas of conservation opportunity, such as sites that are proposed but not yet gazetted as protected areas, and sites already managed by communities for some natural resources. These data were then digitized into a form suitable for inclusion in a conservation planning analysis. In October 2009, TNC staff presented the preliminary findings of the Choiseul conservation planning exercise at the LLCTC conference that was held at Soranamola. Following the presentations LLCTC participants provided their unanimous support for two recommendations put forward by TNC and the LLCTC environmental committee: (1) Establish a Lauru Protected Areas Network (LPAN) and (2) That each ward in Choiseul (there are 12) establishes at least one marine protected area and one terrestrial protected area within the next two years. It was agreed by the LLCTC that the implementation of the LPAN will remain a community driven process that is guided by the Choiseul Ridges to Reef Conservation Plan.