Life in Kia Village

Learn how Margaret Lou-Vike and her community are standing up for local resources. All photos © Bridget Besaw.

Meet Margaret Lou-Vike, who’s fighting to sustain the benefits provided by nature.

Margaret lives in Kia Village, a community of 3,000 nestled in the reef-side ridges of Solomon Islands’ Isabel Province.

Margaret, her family and the rest of Kia depend on the resources provided by threatened local waters and forests.

Most days, Margaret paddles out to her traditional garden in Barora Faa, a nearby patch of forest that’s one of the last unlogged places in Solomon Islands.

This is where Margaret grows and gathers the crucial ingredients, such as cassavas, potatoes and coconuts, that feed her family.

Each day, Margaret—seen here with her sister, Annette—prepares dinner for her family in her home, which sits on stilts above the water.

But persistent logging companies are still trying to claim Barora Faa, casting doubt on the continued safety of their local food resources.

Worried for the future of her community, Margaret worked with her local chapter of the Mothers’ Union—a nationwide religious group—to take action.

Margaret and other Kia women in the Union underwent conservation training conducted by Nature Conservancy leaders like Willie Atu (seen here at left).

In learning about environmental issues, the mothers rededicated their efforts to protect Barora Faa and Kia’s future generations by demonstrating against a new logging proposal.

Their battle was successful, preserving—for now, at least—the resources that will help children like these grow and protect Kia’s way of life.

Margaret feels good about that—but she knows there’s more work to be done, in Kia and throughout Solomon Islands. By donating to The Nature Conservancy, you can help us implement projects that help both people and nature.