The Nature Conservancy knows we must find environmental solutions that create economic opportunities and solve human development challenges. Melanesia is on the frontline of sustainable development—rich in forests and seas, as well as gold and mineral reserves.
TNC held the first-ever national forum on mining in the Solomon Islands, providing a neutral ground for diverse groups representing government, communities, companies and environmental NGOs to discuss issues of concern around the economic, social and environmental impacts of mining. The forum produced an endorsed set of 26 resolutions for the country.
In the Solomon Islands, we are continuing our community outreach program, “What Is Mining?” In collaboration with a local women’s network, Isabel Mothers’ Union, we have trained 40 community facilitators who are raising awareness about the importance of well-informed and inclusive decisions around big issues like mining and logging.
To date, their work has reached over 12,000 people in remote communities, and their inputs are informing the national mining policy reform process. This process has been so successful in supporting women and strengthening local community decision-making that it is being implemented in three more provinces in Solomon Island and Papua New Guinea through other local women’s networks.
Our work with national and provincial governments, companies and community groups has led to a new National Minerals policy for the country that better addresses both the environmental and social and community impacts of mining.