16 Aug 2004

Move to protect Solomon Islands world class marine environment

7:06 am on 16 August 2004

The Nature Conservancy wants to help establish protected marine zones in Solomon Islands to save what it says is a marine environment of importance for all the world.

A two thousand kilometre marine mapping exercise earlier this year shows the Solomon Islands is the second most biologically diverse region in the world.

But Gerald Myles of the Nature Conservancy says it also showed signs of over fishing and sedimentation as a result of destructive forestry practices.

To try and counter this the Nature Conservancy wants to conserve key areas to save the vital species and also increase those species local communities regularly fish for.

"So it is a combination of development opportunities linked very closely with conservation outcomes. We are looking at protected area systems - networks of protected areas that can meet those daily needs and also the conservation goals that are going to be important for the long term national development of the Solomon Islands"

Gerald Myles of the Nature Conservancy