Communities Left Out of the Climate Conversation

Off the back of an incredible week in the Solomon Islands, I’ve been reflecting on the state of the ocean, the communities we work with, and the irony of many international global commitments that don’t address their needs. Conversations that don’t reflect their interests.

Decisions, which often do not allow them a seat at the table.

For communities like those in the Western Province, who are at the forefront of climate change and biodiversity loss, global commitments are largely meaningless unless backed up by real action. If frontline communities can’t protect their way of life, resources, and culture, what do endless discussions, and voluntary targets really mean?

The fact that one of the world’s most biodiverse, largely subsistence-living countries has been pillaged endlessly from overseas interests over the decades, with continued expansion into virgin, old-growth forests, untold impacts on extraordinarily diverse coral reefs, and some of the world’s largest saltwater lagoons, has to be seen to be believed.

And it’s not a pretty sight…

Environmental protection mechanisms shouldn’t solely rest on the shoulders of governments like those in the Solomons, PNG, and Brazil, where the trade-offs between economic growth and environmental protections often don’t favour the latter.

Western countries have already largely destroyed nature for financial gain and can’t point the finger. We can take responsibility though. Through increased funding, and incentives for places like the Solomon Islands to prioritise conservation, and sustainable, long-term livelihoods, over short-term gains from resource extraction.

As we continue to expand and develop our multifaceted waste, rewilding, and community-led protected areas approach in the Solomon Islands and beyond, I hope that globally, we can work more effectively to recognise the vital importance of incentives for conservation in countries that are still developing their economies.

It’s our global responsibility to protect nature’s last remaining wilderness areas before it’s too late.

With the increasing impacts of climate change and resource extraction, the time to act is now. We’re seeking passionate, values-aligned partners to help us drive our vision for positive change.

For people, culture, marine life, incredible old-growth forests, and spectacular coral reef lagoons, which are all under threat.

Will you join us?

Learn more about our work in the Solomon Islands here.

An enormous thank you to Xavier Rudd for allowing us to use his pertinent track ‘Great Divine’ from one of his recent albums ‘Jan Juc Moo