Posts Tagged With: Solomon Islands

Seaweed Farming on Simeruka Island

From Honiara, we traveled to Marau on the eastern tip of Guadalcanal, and were accompanied by John Houakau a village development worker with FSPI (Foundation of the People of South Pacific International) who is also from Marau. John and I met in Fiji in 2009, when we both attended a Marine Management Course at University of South Pacific.

Fred Toitoro, farmer and local marketing agent on Simeruka Island briefs the Climate Challenger crew on the seaweed project on Marau as an alternate livelihood project for economic security – photo by Manuai Matawai

Marau people are dependent on marine resources for economic security and thus realized that their marine resources were depleting and therefore needed to set aside locally managed marine areas (LMMA ). However, the people of Marau need to earn money. Seaweed farming was introduced to the people of Marau by FSPI in 2009. Seaweed was identified as an alternate income generating source to support livelihood. With help of FSPI, the seaweed (Kappaphceus alvarnzii) was imported from Philippines 3 years ago. The seaweed is fetching SD3.00/kg in Honiara by some Asians namely Lee Kok Kuen. Seaweed is used in pharmaceuticals, as a preservative and food additive.

Climate Challenger crew very keen to learn about seaweed farming – photo by Manuai Matawai

The Benefits of Farming Seaweed

When asked about the benefits, economically, it support family’s livelihood and eases the family’s burden on school fees and basic household needs. Environmentally, when fishing pressure is taken out, tambu reefs are recovering as more fish come in abundance and coral health cover is improving compared to before. Socially, seaweed farming is a family oriented business where all fully participate, and it eases social problems such as unemployment.

Although seaweed farming brings many benefits, transport costs are an issue with the community which is very much killing their effort.

Patrick Haukare (Fisheries Officer) on Marau interviewed by Benedick Tova (Provincial Lands Officer) – photo by Manuai Matawai

The Process

A healthy young seaweed branch is cut out from the mature weed and tied onto a 30m string rope. Space between each seedling is about 20 to 25 cm. The string of young seaweed is tied onto a young round mangrove pole stretching horizontally in the water where there is a slight current. The seaweed is submerged in the water and should reach maturity after 6 weeks. The seaweed is harvested and dried in the sun. An average drying time is 4 days if there is plenty of sunshine.

Seaweed harvest, in the background the Climate Challenger – photo by Manuai Matawai

Crew members Pokakes Pondraken of Pere and Bernard Checheng of Mbuke suggested that this is a good alternative livelihood project to bring economic security, and would like to introduce in Manus.

We arrived back in Honiara on Tuesday and will be heading to Naro today then to Savo Island before departing for Western Province (New Georgia) by the end of the week.

Capt. Manuai Matawai

Categories: Alternative Livelihood, Climate Challenger in the Solomon Islands | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Radio Australia Interviews Climate Challenger Skipper

The Climate Challenger arrived in Honiara the Solomon Islands today and we are looking forward tonight to a welcoming reception from the PNG High Commission, Australian and Solomon Islands government and media.

It is expected that we will depart Honiara for Nauru on Friday.

Here is a radio interview Manuai did for the Tok Pisin show from Radio Australia.



Categories: Climate Challenger in the Solomon Islands | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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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