World Vision Launches Whakaora Project

World Vision Launches Whakaora Project


By Eliza Kukutu

Communities in East Guadalcanal will be better equipped to mitigate the impacts of climate change, following the launch of World Vision Solomon Islands (WVSI) Whakaora Project.

Funded by the New Zealand Government through its Climate Finance for Resilience Community Programme, the project aims to support Niumarere, Wahere, Alite, Talibau and Makaruka communities to be green, inclusive, and resilient to the growing impacts of climate change.

Speaking during the launching yesterday, WVSI Operation Manager Irene Maburn said through consultations conducted, they have found that climate change-induced sea level rise has caused food insecurity and income insecurity in the communities.

“In Marau Sound, limited land availability for agriculture results in land being repeatedly farmed, without allowing time for it to regain fertility and thereby reducing yields and increasing the time for essential crops such as taro to mature and be ready for harvest.”

“Further, as communities clear more land for housing, agricultural land is becoming more exposed to the elements, which also causes erosion and loss of agricultural topsoil. Flooding caused by deforestation inland also washes away topsoil. These conditions affect food supply and food security,” she said.

World Vision Solomon Islands Operation Manager, Irene Maburn.

Mrs. Maburn added that they have also found that the change in temperature and extreme weather events have affected crops, putting the communities at risk of food shortages.

With the consultations conducted, WVSI has identified strategies to work towards short-term outcomes that would address the challenges faced by communities through the Whakaora Project.

These includes constructive dialogue and evidence-based advocacy with government, civil society and private sector, Increased engagement of communities to develop or strengthen community disaster plans, and encourage inclusive collaboration on identifying and practicing regreening, and climate smart agriculture and fisheries activities in communities.

World Vision will be implementing the project in partnership with key stakeholders such as MFAT- New Zealand, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry Mines, Energy, and Rural Electrification, Kastom Garden, and People with Disability Solomon Islands.

Community resilience through smart agriculture. Photo: World Vision SI

Mrs. Maburn stressed and encouraged the participation of all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

“I am looking forward for more effective collaboration from all partners towards the success of this Whakaora project. One thing I proposed is to have a steering committee or regular meetings for stakeholders that works in climate change adaptation space.”

“In order to have more coordination to build resilient communities in Solomon Islands I do believe the success of this project also lies in our partnership and engagement with the target communities,” she said.

Deputy Secretary Corporate from the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Karl Kuper also congratulates World Vision for taking the initiative to support climate resilience in communities.

“I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations and full support to World Vision for spearheading this vital project. I understand that the goal of this project is that communities are green, inclusive, and resilient to the impacts of climate change and this aligns perfectly with our ministry’s mission.”

“So, as a government agency that is responsible for overseeing the climate change policies and initiatives, we are encouraged to see organizations like World Vision actively participating in engagements that foster sustainable development and community resilience,” said Kuper.

The Whakaora programme is a two-year programme, implemented in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Timor-Leste, aiming to reach over 6,500 people.

The project aims to conduct garden demonstrations on climate-smart agriculture. Photo: World Vision SI

The project implemented in Solomon Islands will cost around 5 million Solomon Dollars.

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Jonathan Schwass says, they are happy to support the project and are confident of World Visions ability to implement the project.

“New Zealand is really pleased to be supporting the Whakaora programme. The Solomon Islands project will cost a little over 5 million dollars, but New Zealand is confident that with World Visions experience we will be able to see some real results in terms of grass roots adaptation.”

“We think it’s a great example of how cooperation between countries, government agencies, community service organizations and communities themselves can work in the climate change space,” he said.


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