The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Integrated Forest Management (IFM) Project in Solomon Islands has been acknowledged for paving way forward in its technical support towards capacity building on technical know-how for government officers, education facility establishment and the general assistance within the key resource sector agencies in the country.
Permanent Secretory of the Ministry of Forestry and Research, Dr Vaeno Vigulu made the acknowledgement at a first cross-sectoral technical training workshop on National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) and Remote Sensing Land Cover Mapping held from the 14 – 18 of June 2021.
The training workshop was held at an advance computer lab consisting of 60 computers recently launched by FAO through IFM Project at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU), Science and Research Complex, Kukum Campus in Honiara.
Also funded are a science laboratory and a mini-herbarium to aid the establishing of the Bachelor of Forestry and Environmental studies which expects to start its first batch in 2022.
“Over decades developments have either cleared or degraded most of the forested land across our islands. Logging in particular have accelerated in both intensity and spatial extent.
“Solomon Islands Government, in particular the Ministry of Forestry and Research is fully aware of this and recognizes the importance of appropriate forest monitoring system for sustainable management of our forest resources.”
Dr Vigulu adds past challenges and needs are real, that is the exact reason this training workshop is delivered with support from a key development partner – FAO, with its offshore consultant.
“Thank you FAO and FAO consultant Mr. Haraguchi for your continued willingness in building capacities under various projects for our officers and users of GIS/Mapping to enable better monitoring and reporting on our national forest cover and changes over space and time.”
SINU’s Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Acting Dean, Ms. Lovelyn Otoiasi also expressed her deep appreciation of the support and looks forward to putting the facilities into full use.
Solomon Islands National University Acting Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Jack Maebuta registered SINU’s deep appreciation for the support FAO rendered and assures SINU’s willingness to continue work together on furthering such capacity building initiatives.
The National Project Coordinator of the FAO IFM Project, Douglas Yee, also expressed his gratitude towards the common understanding of development objectives, between the two organizations that have culminated into such achievements.
FAO Technical Advisor, Mr. Raushan Kumar says bottom-line of all these supports is to produce pool of well-informed Solomon Islands citizens that are skilled technically and at the same time can make better decision going forward in the resource sector.
“This is a step forward in skills development of human capital which will form a knowledge base in the country’s development especially within the resources sector.”
Ms Xiangjun Yao, the Sub-regional Coordinator of FAO further cemented her strong support in future development initiative and reaffirm that FAO will be playing active role in nation building programmes.