Organizer: Samantha Kies-Ryan
Format: Online, Morning
Understanding and interweaving kastom and cultural knowledge in community-based natural resource management and climate change in the Solomon Islands Climate change is the most important environmental and developmental issue in the Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands’ current National Climate Change Policy stresses the importance of documenting and using of indigenous as well as scientific knowledge and encourage their application in enhancing the resilience of people and ecosystems to climate variability and climate change. This raises the following questions, how do we create spaces for these indigenous values and knowledge to be heard and valued alongside scientific and technical knowledge in natural resource management and climate change adaptation practice? Could a more holistic approach to community engagement that integrates traditional approaches lead to these programs having higher community ownership and greater sustainability? In this panel, representatives from practice, research and community engaged in natural resource management and climate change adaptation in the Solomon Islands will have a conversation about the role that culture and Solomon Islands kastom or customary knowledge and practices plays in water resource management and ways to incorporate scientific and cultural knowledge into practice. This discussion will take the community-based natural resource management and climate change adaptation project the Barana Community Nature and Heritage Park as a case study. Barana Community Nature and Heritage Park is on the outskirts of the main city of Honiara and in the watershed of the main two rivers that flow into the city. It is the site of the current Queen Elizabeth National Park, a conservation effort that has failed to stop deforestation, species loss and rapid urbanization. This panel will explore ways in which current conservation initiatives differ from the past as well as builds on local best practice community-based conservation models such as the Tetepare and Arnavons Marine Conservation Areas.