Resource Management Solomons
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Inclusive Natural Resource Management – Tugeda Tude fo Tumoro (TTfT)
Live & Learn, in partnership with International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA), through the AusAID assisted Solomon Islands NGO Partnership Agreement (SINPA) is working towards strengthening livelihood options and safeguarding natural resources, while giving active structured support to women’s involvement.
This project has received wide support from communities, government ministries and partner NGOs in working to engage women and men from up to 50 communities across five Solomon Island Provinces impacted by logging to contribute towards more inclusive and environmentally sustainable communities, for the goal “Tugeda Tude fo Tomoro” (Together Today for Tomorrow).
The project focuses on building partnerships and relationships and has already developed positive changes in community awareness, practices and capacity of groups. So far, the project has established 7 main hubs with 14 community facilitators across four provinces and employs 7 Honiara based staff.
Using a network of community facilitators, a community learning circle approach, relationship building and consultation processes, the project has opened space for community-led dialogue about the tension between managing natural resources wisely, the need for cash based livelihoods and the ways in which men and women can work together as partners in development.
A strong focus on gender is already creating spaces for women’s voices within natural resource management (NRM) as reflected by the statements of a Community Facilitator in Rennell; “Women before do not talk about environment. But today, women make this issue their own.”
Since implementation of the project, key achievements at the community level include positive changes under the first two domains of change,
- individual change in knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions towards natural resource management and practices, sustainable livelihoods and more gender inclusive decision making processes; and
- change in the capacity of groups and communities to organize and mobilise themselves to achieve environmentally-sound, more equitable and sustainable livelihoods.
The positive changes in knowledge, attitudes and perceptions are translating into action. Women and men have taken steps to translate awareness into action and have demonstrated an increase in local conservation practices, agriculture and livelihood activities and more inclusive decision making practices. Examples of this include the
- establishment of a market house for 200 women in Baolo;
- involvement of 100 women in sea cucumber conservation in Sisiga Isabel province;
- soap making activities by 300 women and men in Rendova western province; and an increase in sustainable farming activities across all 4 Provinces.
Importantly, there have been changes in the capacity of groups to manage natural resources with the establishment of 2 marine protection areas (MPA’s) in Western Province and the formation of a conservation group in Rennell. Women are now being included in decision making committees and groups in all of the hub communities in each province, including a newly formed conservation group in Rennell and for the first time in leadership positions for the Sausama Women’s and Youth Farmers Association in the western province.