One of the key activities under the Low Carbon Emission development project of the Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) has been launched at the Tetere Correctional Centre, Guadalcanal Plains today.
The Biogas system is a twenty cubic meter (20,000 litres) digester that produces biogas through anaerobic digestion of pig waste. The biogas which is predominantly methane is produced and captured within the digester and piped for cooking by the correctional centre kitchen staff. The biogas generated was also successfully used as fuel for a 3.6KVA biogas generator to produce power.
Launching the project this morning Minister for Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology, Honorable Dr Culwick Togamana said before the project was implemented, pig waste was openly disposed into the environment and allowing methane gas to be directly emitted into the atmosphere. Methane gas is said to be 30 times more climate-harmful than carbon dioxide. Minister Togamana said the installation of the biogas system will have the harmful gas flared through the stove and breaking it down to lesser harmful gases like carbon dioxide and water vapour.
The Minister said it is the intention of his Ministry to work closely with other Ministries such as MMERE, MAL, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and farmers to replicate similar systems throughout the country. He encouraged Livestock farmers to design their farms well and turn livestock wastes into low-carbon energy source for their use.
Also speaking at the ceremony is the Acting Commissioner CSSI Mr Michael Nagu who expressed his utmost gratitude for the excellent collaboration between the MECDM, YWAM international and the Correctional Services Centre in ensuring the successful completion of the project. He said the aim of the project is to promote biogas system that suites the national context for its accessibility, affordability, reliability and effectiveness. He said if enhanced and promoted properly, renewable energy sources should be the way forward for the country in displacing the expensive fossil fuel dependency.
As part of the project, 15 inmates at the Tetere Correction Centre were trained in the construction of biogas system to help them as they continue their rehabilitation before they finally reintegrate into the society again.
The project is worth approximately SBD$97,000 and funded through the development budget, as part of MECDM’s contribution to the DCGA 100-day priorities.
SBD2.8 Million seawall project at Tuagi underway
The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) has been facilitating a proposed sea wall project at Tulagi, Central Province.
Nelson Henry Sara said the proposed sea wall project is financed by the World Bank under the Community Resilience to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Project (CRISP).
Mr Sara CRISP National Engineer said, under the MECDM, Tulagi sea wall project is a major project financed under CRISP and is aimed at assisting those communities who are vulnerable to climate change and Nofokava construction group has been contracted to undertake the project.
Mr Sara said the construction work has already started and is progressing smoothly as the main structure have already been erected below the sea level and precast has already been installed.
“For this project, we originally planned on a sheet pilling-structure, but it didn’t actually happen because it was quite expensive and then equipment’s to carry over to Tulagi were not affordable so that’s why we cnstructed a precast concrete-wall structure instead,” said Sara.
“This project has started since last October and was expected to be finished last month of June but since the elections took place in April, the ministry had to extend the time from July to September by which the project should be completed,” Mr Sara said.
Nofokava Construction Group Manager Eddie Walton also spoke of great significance this project could bring not only to Tulaghi town but to residents all through the station.
“My team consists of eight men, and we’re happy to undertake this project. As you would understands erecting a sea wall is not an easy task and we have encountered some difficulties especially when the sea wall is being erected from beneath the water and not on a dry area. The task is rather challenging as we continue to move bit by bit every day, especially laying of the steel rods at the foundation level. The wall is expected to stretch 240 metres long and the height 3 metres from sea level,” Mr Sara explained.
“Despite the challenges we have managed to completer the first phase of the project which is précising and we are now working on the second part which is cementing and pouring of cement,” he said.
The wall is being erected just outside Tulagi town, from the Tulagi market to the provincial rest house right in front of the Charles Woodward sports field. According to the MOU the total cost of the project is around SBD $2.8 million.
Solomon Islands is a country that is heavily reliant on the extraction of its natural resources as a means of financing its economic growth aspirations.
Previously, this was done through activities such as logging and large scale plantations. However, more recently, mineral extraction through mining activities such as the one at Gold Ridge Mine and the extraction of other mineral resources have also been explored and engaged in as a means generating income for the country.
This move towards the extractive industries (oil, gas and mineral extraction) has had its benefits financially and created significant job and socio-economic benefits for a lot of Solomon Islanders.
However, there are some inherent risks as well. These include volatile economic growth; limited job creation; violent conflicts; corruption; environmental degradation; gender based violence; and the risk of spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among communities impacted by extraction activities. Such negative outcomes of resource extraction, however, are not inevitable. They can be tackled through effective strategies, legal frameworks and policies.
Participation of civil society, women’s organisations, indigenous peoples and other affected groups in the decision-making processes to ensure effective governance of the extractive sector is also important.
At the Government level, the Ministry of Environment, through the Environment and Conservation Division (ECD) is one of the ministries responsible for safeguarding Solomon Islanders against the negative impacts that may be brought about by extractive industries operating in the country.
Although licensing of these industries is handled through the Ministry of Mines, the necessary assessments to ensure that consent is given to these industries after due consideration of its impacts to the environment, is handled through the ECD within the Ministry of Environment (MECDM).
The Protected Areas Act 2010 and the Protected Areas Regulations 2012 also touch on the extractive industries in the sense that it restricts such activities in areas that are designated as having a protected area status under the Act.
The Division's work in this area in the Solomon Islands is supported by the work of other entities and initiatives such as the Solomon Islands Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (SIETI).
GCF and World Bank kick off hydropower project in Solomon Islands
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the World Bank have signed an agreement to implement the Tina River Hydropower Development Project to help the Solomon Islands transition from diesel-generated to clean, renewable energy.
The signing of the Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) enables GCF to begin transferring USD 86 million in climate financing to the World Bank for this USD 234 million project which is expected to provide a clean and reliable source of electricity in the capital, Honiara, by 2024.
Universal grid-connected electricity supply is a major challenge across the Solomon Islands. With a 45% electrification rate and a high dependency on diesel generators for power supply in the capital, the country has one of the highest electricity rates in the world (USD 0.82/kWh). The Tina River Hydropower Project will not only diversify Solomon Islands’ source of electricity, but will also shift Honiara’s grid from 3% renewables in 2017 to 68% at commissioning.
“Providing a clean and reliable source of energy is crucial to helping the people of Solomon Islands move towards the path of low-emission, climate resilient development,” said Yannick Glemarec, GCF Executive Director. “GCF’s unique capacity to take risks has made private sector investment in this project possible. We hope this project will be a good example for other Pacific island countries looking to develop in a sustainable way.”
The Tina River project is the first utility-scale hydropower plant in the country. It is also the first privately-invested renewable energy project in the Solomon Islands, and as such, is seen as a replicable model for other Pacific Island countries to use low-emission energy sources to balance variable solar power.
The project will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions as it will shift the country's dependency on diesel-generated energy to a more stable, green power supply with lower electricity tariffs. It will also help the state-owned Solomon Islands Electricity Authority to reach their goal of doubling the number of households in Honiara supplied with electricity by 2024.
“We are particularly pleased to sign this second project-level agreement with the Green Climate Fund,” said Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice-President for Sustainable Development. “The GCF contribution is an important part of the financing package that will enable this transformative, renewable power generation project to move ahead. We look forward to concluding our other project-level agreements with GCF in the near future and remain committed to deepening our partnership.”
“The World Bank is one of GCF’s key partners and with the signing of this agreement, we are accelerating the implementation of climate action projects on the ground,” said Glemarec.
GCF has nine projects with the World Bank worth USD 576.55 million in GCF funding, and USD 2.12 billion in co-financing. The first FAA signed with the World Bank was in February 2019 for the Pacific Resilience Project, which is now under implementation, in the Marshall Islands.
SOURCE: SONGDO 02 AUGUST 2019
According to United Nations statistics, wildlife trafficking is among the five most lucrative illegal trades in the world, worth around USD$23 billion annually.
As poaching and wildlife trafficking are such lucrative trades, they are often complex in nature and have the end effect of eroding biodiversity, ecosystems and create insecurity that creates conflicts and fuels corruption.
The illegal trade, unabated, can also strip countries of their national assets, disrupt social cohesion and, undermine the rule of law.
This being the case, any effort to seriously tackle wildlife trafficking in Solomon Islands will not only require stronger institutions and law enforcement, but will also require a holistic approach to decisively deal with poverty, create economic opportunities and involve local communities in decision making, while at the same time, raising greater public awareness on the issue.
The main international agreement between governments that is aimed at protecting wild animals and plants from this illegal trade threatening their survival is the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Wild Flaura and Fauna or CITES in short.
Solomon Islands became party to the Convention in 2007.
The key legislations for the protection, conservation and management of wildlife in the Solomon Islands are the Wildlife Protection and Management Act 1998 and the Wildlife Protection and Management Regulation 2008.
These legislations regulate the exports and imports of certain animals and plants and comply with the country’s obligations under the CITES agreement.
The national law is looked after by the Environment & Conservation Division (ECD) under the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology (MECDM) and is supported by other legislation, initiatives and documents such as the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Environmental Crime Manual 2015.
The New Solomon Islands Waste Management and Pollution Control Strategy 2017-2026 was formally endorsed by Cabinet in November 2017. It is yet to be officially launched, however, the Ministry is happy to share the e-copy of the strategy can be accessed from this Ministry's website and Solomon Islands Environment data portal (https://solomonislands-data.sprep.org).
The Ministry sincerely acknowledges all the relevant stakeholders coming from the Line Ministries, NGOs, Private Sectors and Academic Institution for the viable contributions during the review and validation workshop in November 2015 and September 2016. The successful outcome of the strategy is a result of the hardwork and contributions of everyone.
Source: ECD communications