‘Facing Climate Change’ is a one minute meditation on the faces of young people who will suffer the impacts of climate change.
Against this daunting collection of overlapping problems, the Solomon Islands Government chose five communities to act as innovation hubs for climate adaptation solutions. Each community has its unique set of challenges and the government is refining the process of listening and responding with appropriate solutions. Mixing local leadership with global expertise from UNDP, SIWSAP is proving itself as a model for large-scale adaptation projects.
The five communities that are preparing for the future of climate change reflect the diversity of the country itself; different languages and customs on islands spread across five provinces and connected by tenuous links for both transport and communication that present logistical challenges that can seem as daunting as climate change itself. Towns like Gizo, Taro and Tigoa face different problems than villages like Santa Catalina and Tuwo but all communities share an underlying uncertainty about what the future might bring.
These five children are from the communities where SIWSAP is working. Their stories and concerns reflect the complex web of issues that Solomon Islanders are facing as they begin the process of adapting. Water shortages, failing crops, rising seas, unpredictable storms and destructive activities like logging and mining are just some of the concerns that the young people shared. These brief glimpses into their lives might help us better understand the pressures these communities are facing and give us a chance to meet some of the Solomon Islanders who will inherit a future as the dark clouds of climate change gather on the horizon.
The climate concerns of all the young people are shared in this brief video that takes us across the Solomon Islands and looks at the forces driving migration, pollution and water scarcity. While the project has made great strides to solve some of these problems, the challenges will require decades to address and the solutions will continue to evolve along with the problems themselves.
Pamela is from Choiseul province in the northwest of the Solomon Islands. Her family work on a farm and she has a busy schedule of chores in addition to her school work. Taro, where she goes to school, is vulnerable to sea level rise so the government is planning to move the whole community to the mainland. To learn more about the SIWSAP approach to adaptation, click here: https://bit.ly/2uZakhs
Tanesha is from Tigoa in the Polynesian province of Rennbel in the southwest of the country. About a decade ago, when she was a young girl, logging started on her island and now it’s impossible to avoid in the forests of Rennell. Tanesha says the profits from the logging is hurting her community and their Polynesian culture. To learn more about the SIWSAP approach to adaptation, click here: https://bit.ly/2uZakhs
A big cyclone hit Fabian’s town of Gizo when he was younger. He remembers the frightening sound of the wind and the tough time living without food or water after the storm. “People were so sad and we all suffered,” he recalls. “Everything was no good.” To learn more about the SIWSAP approach to adaptation, click here: https://bit.ly/2uZakhs
Cathy is from the island of Santa Catalina in Makira province. The low laying atoll is rapidly eroding as a result of sea level rise and the community is facing hard choices trying to feed a growing population with reduced arable land. To learn more about the SIWSAP approach to adaptation, click here: https://bit.ly/2uZakhs
Nathan is from Tuwo community out on the Reef Islands of Temotu province. He’s seen the sea wash away neighbours homes in king tides and he worries about his family when there are big storms. Despite centuries on the islands, Nathan’s people now face an uncertain future as sea levels continue to rise. To learn more about the SIWSAP approach to adaptation, click here: https://bit.ly/2uZakhs
A musical journey in portraits.
A collection of portraits of young Solomon Islanders from across the country.
Under the Solomon Islands Water Sector Adaptation Project, “Gud Wata Fo Strongem Komuniti Lo Evritaem", six far-flung communities across the country have become innovation hubs to test and refine methods to cope with issues like drought, salination of wells and the loss of crops to the encroaching sea. The goal is to equip people with the resilience to meet the challenges of the future and serve as a replicable model of adaptation around the Pacific and the world.
The Solomon Islands Water Sector Adaptation Project, “Gud Wata Fo Strongem Komuniti Lo Evritaem", is funded by the GEF-Least Developed Countries Fund and implemented by the Water Resources Division of Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme. The project aims to improve the resilience of water resources to the impacts climate change and improve health, sanitation and quality of life, so that livelihoods can be enhanced and sustained in the targeted vulnerable areas.
Hydro Met stations installed under the project were led by Solomon Islands Met Service and NIWA of New Zealand and are part of the overall national CLEWS. SIWSAP exists at the request of the Solomon Islands Government and in line with current national development plans. UNDP implements SIWSAP on behalf of the Solomon Islands Government.
To find out more, go to: http://siwsap.org.sb/