Ensuring Resilient Ecosystems and Protected Areas in the Solomon Islands was the theme of a data workshop, co-facilitated by the Environmental and Monitoring and Governance(EMG) Programme of Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Solomon Island’s Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Disaster Management and Meteorology’s (MECDM) Environment and Conservation Division on 17 March 2023.
The workshop was a part of the International Union Conservation for Nature (IUCN) project on Ensuring Resilience Ecosystems and Representative Protected Areas in the Solomon Islands (EREPA) project. Under the EREPA project, areas in the Guadalcanal, Malaita, Renolla-Bellona and Temotu provinces have been proposed as protected areas for the Solomon Islands. As part of the data workshop, participants conducted a field visit to the Barana Nature and Heritage Park, located in Guadalcanal province, a key site for the EREPA project.
In 2019, SPREP provided assistance to the Barana Community, through the Pacific Ecosystem and Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC) project to develop the Barana Nature and Heritage Park. The park spans 5,000 hectares of forest area in the upper catchment of the Mataniko river, one of the largest river catchments in Honiara.
The development of the park included reforestation activities, replanting of stream and watershed areas to reduce soil erosion, sustainable land use activities and mapping, development of eco-tourism and nature-based income generation activities. The park also includes an Environment and Resource Centre which will serve as a place for knowledge sharing, awareness raising and education on good environment practices to build environmental resilience.