The Solomon Islands is a global center for marine diversity. And the ecosystem services of their ocean that deliver benefits to the people is worth more than SBD$2.51 billion per/year. But these valuable services are under threat from multiple and conflicting uses, overuse, destructive uses and pollution. Whilst the Government of the Solomon Islands is doing much to address these threats sectorally, it recognizes a need to work across Ministries, public: private, national government: local communities boundaries.
Last year the Cabinet of the Solomon Islands Government approved a way forward towards integrated ocean governance. They articulated a vision A healthy, secure, clean and productive ocean which benefits the people of the Solomon Islands and beyond. This vision encompasses the following subordinate objectives;
- Sustainable development and use
- Food security
- Climate change resilience and adaptation
- Environmental protection and rehabilitation
- Protection from natural disasters and
- Conservation of biodiversity.
To move this forward, the Solomon Islands Cabinet established a high level Ocean12 committee to oversee the implementation of the integrated governance framework. The executive of the Ocean12 are from Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade and the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Two priority implementation tools that the Solomon Island Government commits to are an Integrated National Oceans Policy and a Nation-wide Marine Spatial Plan.
So far the Government has conducted a valuation on the marine ecosystem, legal review on existing legislations, policies and strategies on ocean and marine use, describing and prioritizing key aspects for integrated ocean governance. Follow up actions will include, securing additional resources, describe the entire Solomon Islands marine environment, identify areas of management and commits to having a draft integrated National Ocean Policy and Marine spatial plan by 2018.