Community-based rainforest protection through payments for ecosystem services
The Babatana Rainforest on the Solomon Islands is a region where logging and land-clearing are constant threats for biodiversity and local communities. The communities suffer from the effects of poor forest harvesting practices, which weakens the local population’s resilience to climatic changes. This IKI Small Grants project is developed in collaboration with the indigenous communities using Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) projects to protect these areas. The project focuses on community-based forest protection and sustainable economic development for the local communities. The project also aims to empower women within the indigenous communities and has a strong knowledge management component for replication in other island states.
The Babatana Rainforest is one of the last intact rainforest areas on the Solomon Islands, which is suffering severe pressure from large-scale logging operations. In addition, 77 per cent of Solomon Island’s greenhouse gas emissions come from forestry and land-use change in recent years. The project area is owned by local indigenous groups in Choiseul province. The local communities suffer from the effects of poor forest harvesting practices, resulting in pollution and sedimentation of water sources and depletion of timber resources, weakening the local population’s resilience to climatic change. This project aims to support the indigenous communities of Lukelombere, Zoko, and Miqusava to join the Babatana Rainforest Conservation Project and reach their goals of developing forest carbon projects and enjoy the benefits from forest protection efforts.
This project aims to support three indigenous communities: Lukelombere, Zoko, and Miqusava. The projects are developed at local level and each community is recognised as the project owner. The projects are managed by legal entities, such as Tribal Associations and Community Companies, that represent all the members of the ethnic groups. Besides, the project also tries to build and empower the position of women through training and capacity building and the establishment of so-called Women Saving Clubs within each of the partner communities.
APPROACH AND ACTIVITIES
This IKI Small Grants project is a nature-based solution to climate change by protecting the last intact forest ecosystems in Solomon Islands. The project supports indigenous communities to protect and manage their intact rainforest areas through Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), which also benefits them in economic development and other income activities.
The project supports the communities to declare their forest areas as legally established terrestrial protected areas (PA’s) under the provision of the protected area ACT 2010. Further, the communities gain financial benefits from managing their forest protected areas due to the development of the Nakau PES. The project organisation is a licensed project coordinator for Nakau in the Solomon Islands and focuses on community-based forest conservation and sustainable economic development for the local communities. The PES agreement covers a period of 30 years, and the project coordination is integrated into the project itself with income from the sales of credits. All this avoids carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere.
The project also aims to empower women in the area through training and capacity building, as well as the establishment of women saving clubs within the communities. In addition, the project has a strong knowledge management component for replication in other island states and contributes directly to achieve the NDC’s goals. Besides, the organisation works closely with the responsible Ministry of the Environment in the designation of protected areas.
IKI Small Grants supports Natural Resources Development Foundation in their organisational capacity development through:
- Reviewing and developing core organizational documentation (Financial Manual, Human Resource manual, NRDF Constitution, Board TOR, Staff contracts, office procedures)
- Set-up of an online internal platform for document filing, document exchange, and communication
- Introducing and training staff in software applications
- Improving collaboration between finance with operational management
ABOUT THE ORGANISATION
Natural Resources Development Foundation (NRDF) is a non-profit organisation that supports local indigenous communities to conserve and manage their forest resources. Since 2004, NRDF’s vision is that the forests in the Solomon Islands are protected and sustainably managed for the benefit and resilience of the people in the Solomon Islands. The organisation’s mission is to support and assist communities to protect and manage their last untouched rainforest areas, enabling them to enjoy the benefits of economic development by developing community-based PES crediting projects.