Noticias | 29 Mar, 2024

Solomon Islands government launches Marine Spatial Planning, Community Engagement, and Blue Finance Project to safeguard marine resources

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM), in collaboration with IUCN and Blue Nature Alliance, officially inaugurated the Marine Spatial Planning, Community Engagement, and Blue Finance Project earlier this week.

In his opening remarks, the MECDM Deputy Secretary Corporate Mr Karl Kuper emphasized the critical importance of oceanic resources to the people of the Solomon Islands. With 98 percent of the country comprised of ocean, the Solomon Islands government reaffirmed its commitment to integrated planning and management strategies aimed at ensuring the sustainable protection of these invaluable assets.

Currently, the Solomon Islands has a network of 79 designated ocean conservation areas, encompassing approximately 956 km2, or less than 1% of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This network primarily consists of Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs), managed collaboratively between central and provincial governments, local and Indigenous communities, and supporting NGOs/CBOs.

Recognising the many resources and activities occurring within its marine boundaries, including commercial fishing, subsistence fishing, shipping, aquaculture, and minerals, the government stressed the importance of holistic management approaches to safeguard the health and integrity of the ocean ecosystem.

The MSP project, spearheaded by the Solomon Islands government, sponsored by Blue Nature Alliance, and in collaboration with IUCN through the Oceans Twelve Committee, aims to achieve significant milestones by 2024/25. These include completing the Marine Spatial Plan and establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering at least 238,421 km2, representing 15% of the EEZ.

To facilitate these objectives, MECDM, the Ocean12, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are partnering with IUCN to execute on three key interventions of the project:

  1. MPA network gazettement: Supporting consultations, legal framework reforms, and the gazettement of a network of MPAs by 2024/25.
  2. Community engagement: Building support for the marine spatial plan and offshore MPAs through expanding the LMMA network and strengthening community-based resource management systems by 2025/26.
  3. Ocean conservation finance: Advancing a sustainable and inclusive ocean finance model to implement and sustain the network of MPAs by 2025/26.

The inception meeting marked a significant milestone in the collective efforts to protect and preserve at least 15% of the Solomon Islands' EEZ. The workshop organised by the MECDM and IUCN Oceania served as a platform for stakeholders to discuss strategies and collaborate towards shared goals.

The Solomon Islands government and IUCN acknowledges the Blue Nature Alliance for their generous financial support.

The two-day workshop brought together participants from relevant line ministries and organisations who were eager to contribute to the collective vision of a sustainable future for the Solomon Islands' marine heritage.

BNA inception workshop in Honiara, Solomon IslandsPhoto: BNA inception workshop in Honiara, Solomon Islands


For more information on the Blue Nature Alliance project, contact Dr James Slogan, Marine Programme Coordinator on