Climate Change and Development Context
Solomon Islands is an archipelago located in the South-Western Pacific Ocean, consisting of nearly a thousand small islands. The country has rich marine diversity and has the world’s largest mangrove forest.[i]The economy consists of a mixed subsistence sector, depending mainly on natural resources, and annual population growth of 4.4 percent is exerting additional pressures on natural resource consumption.[ii]A majority of people live in rural coastlines with little infrastructure for protection against changing coastal habitats.[iii]As such, the well-being of people is directly affected by exposure to the adverse impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and more frequent destructive climatic events.
The Government of Solomon Islands considers climate change as a vital issue. Focus areas for policy response are vulnerability, disaster risk reduction, and adaptation; mitigation and greenhouse gas inventory; research and technology transfer; and education, awareness, and capacity building.[iv] Special emphasis is placed on capacity building to measure, reduce, and adapt to risks and vulnerabilities, such as through enhancing ecosystem and social resilience and climate proofing infrastructure.[v] The government has established related national legislations, regulations, supporting policies, and implementation plans.
Solomon Islands is a party to the United Nations FrameworkConvention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. At the regional level, Solomon Islands is a signatory to the PacificIslands Framework for Action on Climate Change.[vi]
Key National Institutions, Policies and Initiatives
Key institutions: The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) is appointed as Designated National Authority to fulfill Solomon Islands’ obligations under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, thereby supporting the implementation of investment projects in Solomon Islands under the Clean Development Mechanism.[vii] MECDM serves as the lead agency in coordinating with the National Climate Change Council, government ministries, provincial governments, communities, and non-governmental organizations.
Figure source: Solomon Islands National Climate Change Policy: 2012 – 2017
Policies and initiatives: Solomon Islands National Development Strategy: 2011-2020 is the overarching national road map for development planning. It prioritizes economic growth and increased equity. Theme 7 of the Strategy targets “creating and maintaining the enabling environment,” which includes effectively responding to climate change and managing the environment and risks of natural disasters, and improving governance at national, provincial and community levels to strengthen links at all levels.[viii]
The National Climate Change Policy 2012-2017 further details strategies to support Theme 7 of the National Development Strategy. The policy was developed under a joint effort between MECDM (focal point) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (implementing and executing agency) within the framework of the National Coalition for Rural Advancement. It provides guidance to address climate change issues and opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between stakeholders, and empowers institutions to take ownership of planning and implementing mitigation and adaptation initiatives. More specifically, the policy addresses institutional arrangements, mainstreaming of climate change into work of all government entities, capacity building at all levels, adaptation capacity, nationally appropriate mitigation actions, technology transfer, technical and financial resource mobilization, and domestic and international partnerships.[ix]
[i] Source: “Solomon Islands Dashboard.” World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal (accessed 26 Nov 2013). http://sdwebx.worldbank.org/climateportalb/home.cfm?page=country_profile&CCode=SLB
[ii] Source: “PEIN Country Profile and Environmental Library.” Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (accessed 26 Nov 2013). https://www.sprep.org/Solomon-Islands/pein-solomon-islands
[iii] Source: “Sea level in Solomon Islands predicted to rise over 8mm in the coming century.” Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (accessed 26 Nov 2013). http://www.sprep.org/climate-change/sea-level-in-solomon-islands-predicted-to-rise-over-8mm-in-the-coming-century
[iv]Solomon Islands National Climate Change Policy: 2012 – 2017(accessed 29 Nov 2013).
[v]Solomon Islands National Climate Change Policy: 2012 – 2017
[vi]Solomon Islands National Climate Change Policy: 2012 – 2017
[viii]Solomon Islands National Climate Change Policy: 2012 – 2017
[ix]Solomon Islands National Climate Change Policy: 2012 – 2017
Basic Data Source:
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