Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons

Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons Marine Resource Management Project

2000-2002

Roviana and Vonavona

A joint multidisciplinary project between the University of Auckland and the World Wide Fund for Nature-Solomon Islands.

Funding

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Participating staff

New Zealand

Dr. Shankar Aswani,
Senior Research Fellow,
Anthropology, the University of Auckland
Phone +64 9 373 7599, ext 8573
Fax: +64 9 373 7499
Email: s.aswani@auckland.ac.nz

Assistant Professor,
Department of Anthropology, University of California,
Santa Barbara, California 9316-3210, USA
Richard Hamilton,
Research Associate,
Department of Marine Science, University of Otago, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Dr. Simon Foale
World Wide Fund for Nature,
Solomon Islands,
P.O. Box 21,
Gizo, Western Province,
Solomon Islands
Phone: 677-60191
Fax: 677-60294
Email: wwf@welkam.solomon.com.sb

Seri Hite
World Wide Fund for Nature,
Solomon Islands,
P.O. Box 21,
Gizo, Western Province,
Solomon Islands
Phone: 677-60191
Fax: 677-60294
Email: wwf@welkam.solomon.com.sb

 

Roviana Lagoon
The Roviana Lagoon, New Georgia, Solomon Islands (Click to view on Google Maps)

Project objectives

The overarching aim of this project is to establish sustainably managed marine areas under customary sea tenure in the Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons, Western Province, Solomon Islands.

To this end, the joint project between the University of Auckland and The World Wide Fund for Nature, Solomon Islands intends to:

  • Study the institutional responses of sea tenure regimes to a transforming socio-economic and environmental context caused by population growth, changing consumer demands, and coastal and marine fishery commercial developments.
  • Document indigenous environmental knowledge throughout the region, particularly data pertaining to fish spawning aggregations of various species. The location of the aggregations will be mapped and entered into the WWF Solomon Island Geographical Information System. This system will produce maps and materials to aid in the formulation of management plans with local communities and the Resource Management Section of the Fisheries Division of the Solomon Island Government. To substantiate this effort, indigenous marine ecological knowledge for several species will be tested for its scientific validity. The ultimate objective is to integrate indigenous marine ecological knowledge into managerial design.
  • Collect and analyze data on local patterns of resource exploitation to determine the most appropriate managerial response.

 

Expected results

  • Establish operationally viable co-management plans between local community customary institutions, provincial and national governments, and non-governmental organizations working in the region. Managerial initiatives will take into consideration variability in regional sea tenure regimes and institutional frameworks to formulate effective managerial policies within each identified institution.
  • Assist local communities in establishing local conservation initiatives through increasing their understanding for the need to protect their natural resources, providing technical assistance and training local communities to monitor and enforce any local initiative.
  • Support regional coastal and marine biodiversity by encouraging the protection of vulnerable species and habitats.
  • Encourage local developmental initiatives to establish sustainable resource use projects such as balsa tree planting, clamshell aquaculture, and other local initiatives as alternatives to more damaging activities such as live reef fish trade and logging. This will be done in tandem with other governmental and non-governmental institutions working in the region.
  • Collate an environmental dictionary of marine, estuarine, and inshore marine organisms for the purpose of environmental education at the local, national, and international levels.
  • Integrate the research results with governmental developing regional coastal co-management plans and ongoing Nature Conservancy and WWF regional projects for better social and environmental management.