10 Mar 2015

UK trust funds Solomons Hawksbill Turtle conservation

9:30 am on 10 March 2015

A community based conservation initiative in Solomon Islands has received a huge financial boost from Britain's Rufford Foundation.

 Chairman of the Mualaulalo Island Conservation Initiative, Dennis Marita holds a baby Hawksbill Turtle

Chairman of the Mualaulalo Island Conservation Initiative, Dennis Marita holds a baby Hawksbill Turtle. The island is a natural nesting site for this endangered species. Photo: RNZI Courtesy of Rhona Marita

The Mulaulalo Island Conservation Initiative was created by local Tribes in 2010 after a long legal battle to remove illegal settlers and stop the over harvesting of marine resources and the destruction of the island's wildlife habititat.

Located in the Makira and Ulawa province of Solomon Islands, Mulaulalo island is a nesting place for the endangered Hawksbill Turtle and has an endemic species of pigeon the Chestnut Bellied Monarch among its island wildlife.

A tribal chief and chairman of the Mulaulalo Conservation Initiative, Dennis Marita, says the 5000-pound funding from the Rufford Foundation is a welcome validation of what the tribe has been fighting to achieve

"More especially for our children because this is basically fo their future to ensure that our children have, there to see what they are supposed to see. Like the resources and the environment and of course in particular now we are conserving the Hawksbill Turtle not only will they see that in books but they will be able to see that with their real eyes."