Posts Tagged With: Choiseul

Turtle Conservation at Arnavon Islands

Moses and the Climate Challenger crew with juvenile turtles ready to begin their journey in the sea of the unexpected. Photo: Arnavon islands, by Manuai Matawai.

After leaving Taro, we stopped in at Wagina yesterday where a large community of Kiribati people now call home after being relocated here by the British last century.

A young Waginian taught how to plant a mangrove by Manuai Matawai at Wagina. Pix Manuai Matawai

The Climate Challenger and crew are now at the Arnavon Islands, Solomon Islands, known as the ‘home of the hawksbill turtle’. Moses Pema, a conservation officer at the Arnavons, took time to brief the boys on the turtle project and some of the activities carried out on the island. The crew went for a site visit around the turtle nesting places and witnessed young turtle hatchlings ready to find their way to the sea. Bernard Checheng Manus when interviewed about his short visit here said, ‘I have learnt a lot. I have seen the movie Home for Hawksbill, but now I have witnessed it myself. I will get back to my island and look after the turtle nesting places”.

Conservation officer Moses Pema, educates the Climate Challenger crew on the turtle nursery project at Arnavon Islands, known as ‘home of the hawksbill turtle’ – photo by Manuai Matawai 15/10/12

Bernard Checheng Manus said, “I have seen the movie ‘Home For Hawksbill’, now I have set foot here and witnessed what this place has to offer. I hope to go back home and look after our turtle nesting areas on Mbuke and the surrounding islands. Pix by Manuai Matawai


I visited here in 2008 and after 4 years, I have seen a few changes; a new building erected, wireless satellite internet connection and solar lighting installed. But the sad news is that, the shore line is eroding as a result of rising sea level which will have an impact on the nursery areas for the turtle. We may lose this beautiful place on earth.

We expect to depart the Arnavon’s at 12 pm today for Kia where we will be doing awareness; connecting culture, conservation and climate change.


Categories: Climate Challenger in the Solomon Islands, Conservation | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Farewell Taro

Climate Challenger back in the water with additional features ready to commence sailing. Pix by Manuai Matawai – 11/10/12

Our last day in Taro, Choiseul Island (Solomon Islands) was a busy day for us, making use of every hour to catch up with canoe work and spreading awareness on climate change before we departed for Wagina. We had a wonderful reception on Taro. Our deepest gratitude goes to Jimmy Kereseka and his family for taking care of our logistics and looking after the crew for almost a week here on Supizae Island. Also thank you to the Premier of Choiseul Province and friends for their support and hospitality.

Climate Challenger skipper Manuai Matawai presenting awareness on climate change and canoe voyage to students of Choiseul Bay Secondary School – photo by Jimmy Kereseka. 10/11/12

Climate Challenger crew – from left to right – Manoi Ponowan, Pokakes Pondraken and Pakop Samol relaxing after garamut dance at Choiseul Bay Secondary School in Choiseul Province. Photo: Jimmy Kereseka -10/10/12

During our time on Supizae Island, we did three awareness shows; Taro, PoroPoro village and the last night at Choiseul Bay Secondary School.  It was a ‘Manus Way’ style show- garamut drum dancing, a brief on our canoe voyage including the objectives, then followed by climate change awareness answering questions such as “what is climate change?”, “how is it caused?”, and “what are the impacts and what can we do about it?”. Bernard Manus from Mbuke Island presented a case study of his island followed by playing the Mbuke/Whal climate change video documentary.

It was great to have Robyn James, the project manager of The Nature Conservancy’s Climate Change Adaptation project present with us and to witness and support our performance on Taro and last night at the school. Robyn commented that “climate change is thought about in Australia where I am from, but the concept of linking culture, conservation and climate change is exciting and much more interesting than learning from a book. I hope that your crew can one day come to Australia to share your culture and lessons about climate change with people there”.

Pokakes Pondraken doing final touches on Climate Challenger before going into the water – photo by Manuai Matawai – 11/10/2012

We have updated the itinerary for while we are here in the Solomon Islands:

Proposed Itinerary

ETA = Estimated time of arrival

ETD = Estimated time of departure

Friday 12/10/12

ETD Taro at 9.00 am for Nukiki village (4 miles from Supizae, the team will present awareness on Climate change/Manus dance etc).
ETD Nukiki at 4 pm  for Wagina.

Saturday 13/10/12

ETA Wagina 6 am (awareness connecting culture, conservation, climate change).

Sunday 14/10/12

ETD Wagina at 1 pm for Arnavons.
ETA Arnavon Islands at 4pm (free time, team will visit management site).

Monday 15/10/12

ETD Arnavon Islands at 8 am for Kia.
ETA Kia at 12 pm (awareness connecting culture, conservation and climate change).

Tuesday 16/10/12

ETD Kia at 7 am for Buala.
ETA Buala 8 pm (awareness connecting culture, conservation and climate change).

Wednesday 17/10/12

ETD Buala at 8 am for Honiara. Might do awareness on the way.

Thursday 18/10/12

Arrive Honiara, time dependent on weather conditions.

Categories: Climate Challenger in the Solomon Islands, Climate Change Adaptation | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Arrival in Solomon Islands

We set sail from Kieta, Bougainville in the late afternoon on our course to Taro, the main centre of Choiseul Island in the Solomon islands. With the moon giving us plenty of light, we sailed at an average speed of 6 knots and used the eastern star to guide us towards Taro. We had to sail through the night to hide from possible trouble coming from Buin which is reputed to be a ‘danger zone’. Morning came and we were now 4 miles from our destination. We sailed past the western side of Taro putting our trawl lines to the test along the reef but unfortunately we didn’t catch anything. Jimmy Kereseka, the environment co-ordinator from the Lauru Land Conference of Tribal Communities (LLCTC) spotted us from a distance, and came out to meet us with his son Philemon before escorting us to Supizae Island, where he and his family live.

Young Philemon Kereseka, son of Jimmy Kereseka piloting Climate Challenger into Taro, the main town of Choiseul Province, Solomon Island.

We quickly had our breakfast then dressed in our traditional attire ready for the historic welcome. We sailed into Taro Market beach front dancing to beat of the garamut where on the beach, Premier Jackson Kiloe and his executive members, invited guests and Lauru warriors were waiting for us. Many people gathered to see the Manus canoe arriving on their shores for the first time in the history of Choiseul Province.

The Lauru warriors welcoming the Climate Challenger to Choiseul. Photo: Jimmy Kereseka

Premier of Choiseul waiting on shore for the arrival of the Climate Challenger. Photo: Jimmy Kereseka

The Climate Challenger crew perform a traditional Manus dance for the gathering of people at the Taro Market area on Taro Island, the main centre of Choiseul Island, Solomon Islands

We are now residing with Jimmy and his family on Supizae Island about a 5 minute boat ride to Taro. The canoe has been in the water for a month now so we have hauled it out of the water to dry it, will replace some of the heavy timbers and outrigger and do some maintenance and repair work. This week we will be conducting a drystone wall workshop on Taro and probably spreading climate change and environment awareness around Choiseul. We hope to disembark Taro for Wagina soon.


Climate Challenger hauled out at Supizae island, the home of Jimmy Kereseka and head quarter of LLCTC (Lauru Land Conference of Tribal Communities) office. Climate Challenger will undergo minor repair/maintenance for a week on Supizae Island.

Categories: Climate Challenger in the Solomon Islands | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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