Solomon Ports – Mangrove Restoration and Livelihood Project

Mangroves are vital ecosystems that protect coasts, store carbon, and support biodiversity, but they are threatened by human activities and climate change. Solomon Ports embarked on a project to restore and regenerate a depleted mangrove forest in one of the remote islands in the Solomons where this ecosystem previously existed.

This restoration project is grounded in the discipline of restoration ecology, which aims to assist the recovery of resilience and adaptive capacity of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed due to human activities. The project aims to restore the natural functions and values of degraded mangrove areas, using ecological principles and local knowledge. It futher aims at supporting people’s livelihood in order to prevent inhabitants from exploiting mangroves as their primary source of survival in this small atoll in the Langalanga lagoon, Solomon Islands.

Hence the Mangrove Restoration and Livelihood Project project is focussing on:

  • Community Engagement through Environmental Care: Solomon Ports prioritizes working closely with local communities residing near critical mangrove ecosystems. Awareness campaigns have been conducted to educate residents on the importance of mangroves and empower them to participate actively in restoration efforts. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of ownership and ensures the long-term success of the project as people understand the importance of mangroves in their own living environment.
  • Strategic Planting: Through careful ecological assessments based on collective experiences within the community, Solomon Ports have identified areas in dire need of mangrove rehabilitation. Native mangrove species have been identified and chosen specifically for their suitability to the local environment, maximizing their growth potential and ecological impact.
  • Long-Term Monitoring: Solomon Ports understands that planting mangroves is just the first step. To ensure their survival and thriving, a dedicated monitoring program has been established. This involves regular inspections to track growth progress, identify potential threats, and implement necessary corrective measures.
  • Supporting people’s livelihood: Solomon Port invested in livelihood initiatives such as beekeeping, raising bed vegetable gardens and seaweed farming to prevent the community resorting into mangroves again as a source of income by cutting and drying them in the sun to be sold locally as firewood.

By combining Solomon Ports commitment with the knowledge and stewardship of local communities in the Langalanga lagoon, this mangrove reforestation project has the potential to create a significant positive impact not only on the community in question but also on the whole Solomon Islands’ environment. The restored mangroves will act as a natural barrier (nature-based solution) against coastal erosion, provide vital habitat for marine life, and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future for the islands in the future.