Solomon Islands organizes Prime Minister’s Roundtable on Development, Society and the Environment.

Outcomes of the Roundtable4 – 6 March 2013 - Honiara, Solomon Islands
Background to roundtable:
The Solomon Islands is a resource rich small island developing state. Many of the people are directly dependent on the environment for livelihoods.  This natural environment is however fragile. Furthermore, developments to date have damaged this natural environment without improving the livelihood of the majority of the population.  Human relationships and the environment suffer as a consequence.  This is known as a brown economy. At this early stage of economic and industrial development, it is opportune to arrest the decline to a brown economy and introduce measures which will allow the country to achieve improved livelihoods, improved relationships and general welfare of its population without sacrificing the environment.  In other words, the country needs to shift from a brown economy model to a green economy model.

The concept of Green Economy

•        There was a convergence of opinions on the fact that we need to change the current development model;

•        There was tacit agreement that the country needs to start transitioning from the current economy model to a Green Economy model;

•        A future development model should abide by at least four principles: maintains and enhances human relationships, lifts the community and the individual, is based on equity and fairness, and enhances the integrity of ecosystems and life-support systems;

•        The Roundtable agrees to establish a Green Economy Platform that will take the lead in guiding the process of transition.


Mineral Resources

•        There was agreement that there are lessons to be learned from the past experiences of logging and the Gold Ridge mining project as the first and only examples from SI;

•        There was a convergence of opinions and perspectives on the need of a consultation process towards establishing sound mining policy and review of current Mines and Minerals Act, its mining Regulations and the establishment of the Minerals Development Authority and other necessary institutional set ups.

·        There is a need for a consultation process that is appreciative of the need for communities to own their development path, as the country has witnessed the consequences brought about by the absence of consultation;

·        There is a need for innovation in the processes, partnerships and mechanisms that bring greater ownership and responsibilities to landowners;

·        Need to ensure that the revenue given to landowners is used in the interest of the whole community. The revenue generated from the industry needs to be used in a productive long-term sustainable manner.


Forestry Sector

•        Ensure the enforcement  of existing forest legislation and regulations (e.g. the SI code of logging practise from 2002).

•        Establish a consultative process towards the new Forestry Bill.

•        Adopt a strategy to increase the forest cover (reforestation)  – with a set target over a period of years (possibly adopting the Costa Rican Model).

•        Encourage all companies to be members of the Solomon Islands Forest Industry Association and the Value Added Timber Association. 

•        Ensure that replanting with indigenous tree species is taken up seriously by the industry.


•        Develop a private- public partnership to respond to the labor market needs of Solomon Islands;

•        Reform the curriculum of vocational training and SINU to respond to the demand of the private and public sectors;

•         Foster increased and frequent consultation.


•        Solomon Islands needs to move away from reliance on bilateral access agreements;

•        Promote onshore landing and processing of catch;

•        Need to invest in the local fishing industry to maximise local income from the industry;

•        Emphasis on value, rather than volume;

•        Need to widen the discussion from tuna to other marine resources, including inshore fisheries;

•        Need to consider and introduce multiplicity of incentives (tax) to allow private enterprises and operators to develop the fishing industry in Solomon Islands.

•        SIG needs to improve its general investment climate such as roads, international wharves, reliable power supply; water and to lower the cost of doing business;



•        That SIG offers its support to Solomon Airlines in the negotiations with other countries in reciprocation of landing rights and air services.

•        The Tourism sector needs political will and further engagement from stakeholders to support implementation of the tourism policy

•        Tourism should be given priority by SIG in a Green Economy model as tourism needs the conservation of the country’s environment;

•        That tourism be used to bring development to the grass-roots more effectively


·        PM’s Roundtable 1 Outcomes to be presented at the next PS’s meeting, at Cabinet and Government Caucus.

·        Invite other sectors, to be part of PM’s roundtable 2 including:

o   Agriculture

o   Energy,

o   Land

o   Water, and

o   (Health?)

·        IUCN, GIZ and SPC together with other partners and CROP agencies continue accompanying the process.

·        SIGOV to inform MSG Secretariat on the progress of its Green Growth development framework.

The Roundtable was supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Secratariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).