Are’Are Arahana Leadership Forum Highlights the Urgency of Climate Crisis in the Solomon Islands

Hautahe village, Solomon Islands – The Are’Are Arahana Leadership Forum was successfully attended by traditional leaders from Arahanimane, Arahahu, Namoaraha, and Maramasike from the 14th to the 16th of February. About 200 leaders, including women, attended the event that covered various leadership agendas and focused on restoring local knowledge to improve the Are’Are Land Tenure System.

Amongst the speakers and panellists that attended the Forum were Mai-Maasina Green Belt (MMGB) Vice Chairman, Mr Edward Haikau Huitarau, and Mr Andy Taraha. They spoke on the topic “Climate Crisis and Conservation benefits,” highlighting the impacts of climate change on the Solomon Islands.

During his presentation, Mr Huitarau informed the leaders that MMGB’s three pillars of conservation work are reviving traditional governance and knowledge, research, and economic incentives for resource owners. He emphasized that their conservation efforts are not immune to the impacts of climate change, which are threatening communities in the Are’Are region.

Mr Huitarau shared the challenges that MMGB faces, including intensified impacts of climate change, limited funding, and the loss of traditional and ecological knowledge associated with biodiversity due to the climate crisis. He also stressed that disasters are a result of climate change that causes climate crisis.

Furthermore, Mr Huitarau explained that the world needs to save as many remaining forests as possible since they absorb carbon dioxide and provide oxygen to sustain life. He also highlighted the importance of coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, in mitigating the effects of climate change.

As part of MMGB’s innovation solutions, Mr Huitarau encouraged inclusive conservation, where everyone does their part to protect nature and mitigate the climate crisis by replanting mangroves and engaging in forest enrichment.

The Are’Are Arahana Leadership Forum shed light on the urgency of addressing the impacts of climate change in the Solomon Islands. Despite the challenges faced, traditional leaders and communities remain committed to working together to restore local knowledge and improve leadership issues in the Are’Are Land Tenure System.

The event was facilitated by West Are’Are Rokotani Keni (WARA) with funding support from the SPC-PPAC Small grant funding.

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