The forests on the Island of Nende in the remote Temotu Province, East Solomon Islands cover >40,000ha. These beautiful forests provide shelter, water, custom medicine, habitat for endangered species, building materials and food.
The people of Nende have been living in harmony, with their forests since they arrived here thousands of years ago. Now, all this could change. Australian Miners (whose website blatantly lies about how landowners feel about this project this project) have recently arrived, with one aim, to enrich themselves from the resources of Nende. They want the trees and they want the soil, which contains high grade Bauxite.
It’s clear from our research into the history of mining in the Solomon Islands that loggers and miners benefit hugely from these activities, whilst the land owners get a pittance, a destroyed environment and many social issues. We need your help to take the loggers and miners to court, please donate to support the landowners, they have already donated all they can afford.
OceansWatch Solomon Islands, the Temotu Conservation and Sustainable Development Association and a small group of activists are working really hard to protect these forests. OceansWatch sails to these remote communities annually to help the people and environment of Nende and other nearby Islands. We have provided landowners with the information they need to make decisions based on free, prior and informed consent. We have turned the tide against loggers and miners in the hearts and minds of the people but sadly that’s not enough. It’s not enough because the loggers and miners threaten, cajole, lie, bribe and relentlessly ignore the law of the Solomon Islands and the local customs of the people of Nende. These corporations are wealthy, they are well versed in stealing other’s resources, they care nothing for the future of the people of Nende nor their land. They trick the land owners and they trick the Solomon Islands Government into believing their mining is welcome, but our feedback from the land owners themselves is quite the opposite. When the miners have got what they want they will move on without a second thought and without clearing up the mess they leave behind.
My friends in Nende are tired of this battle, they do not want this fight, they want peace, a secure future for their children and grand-children and to make their own decisions about their land without pressure and corruption.
We know that spiritually, ethically, morally and in the villages we have the upper hand but there is one place we do not have the upper hand and that’s what matters right now. This place is in the High Court of the Solomon Islands because we now have to take both the loggers and miners to court and we need to do so urgently. Our priority is to take an injunction against the miners to shine a light on their many illegal activities. This is desperately needed because we need to buy some time, to consolidate our substantive case, to delay their next steps so that we can try to win the minds of the decision makers in local and national government and to raise more funds to follow up our injunctions in court. We need about US$7,000 as soon as possible to take this matter to court. Nende has ~40,000ha rainforest that sequesters ~10 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year so if we stop the logging and mining we are saving ~400,000 tons of carbon dioxide from warming our planet per year!!
How The Funds Will Be Used
Deposit for Lawyer: $ 4,488.79
Wage Ruddy Oti: $ 307.80
Food Ruddy Oti: $ 115.43
Admin OceansWatch NZ: $ 205.20
Awareness flyers etc: $ 128.25
Communications: $ 64.13
Travel in Nende: $ 307.80
Travel in Honiara (Lawyer visits): $ 64.13
Flight Honiara - Lata return: $ 705.38
Document printing: $ 192.38
Court fees: $ 64.13
Bank fees: $ 19.24
Total required: $ 6,991.60
We have a legal brief well prepared by Australian Lawyers and now we need to engage a qualified and experienced SI Lawyer to take the case. Local concerned landowners have done local fundraising. SBD10,066 raised in the villages, with the next fundraiser in Honiara due soon.
With your help we can get an injunction and we shall then be in a far stronger position to take a substantive case. Success in court will enable us to assist the local communities to engage with more sustainable REDD and Forest Carbon Trading projects.
Your contribution will help us save this vital rainforest!
Ruddy Oti - Team Leader
Ruddy is a landowner in the mining concession area on West Nende. Ruddy, over the last 3 years has worked tirelessly to stop mining and logging on his land and has accumulated a huge amount of knowledge re-mining in the Solomon Islands.
Ruddy is fluent in all the relevant Acts pertaining to extractive industry in the Solomon’s. Ruddy lives in Honiara, where he works for Telekom as a paralegal. Ruddy has made several trips back to his home Island over recent years to provide awareness around this issue to his people.
In January 2017 Ruddy visited Rennell Island with an OceansWatch filmmaker to study the effects of mining there and interviewed locals for the film Ripples in Rennell. Ruddy is the official land owners representative for this case and a director of OceansWatch Solomon Islands.
The landowner's rep and team leader in the SI for this case is Ruddy Oti, Ruddy is a paralegal, and knows SI law very well. He's worked tirelessly to help prepare the legal case. He works for SI Telekom as a paralegal and is on the OW Board. In the short clip below Ruddy explains the situation in Nende and why we need help to fund litigation
Chris Bone - OceansWatch New Zealand support
Chris Bone started OceansWatch in 2008 and is a passionate conservationist. Chris first visited Nende in 2009 and has visited 7 times since. Chris is working hard to support landowners of Nende and other areas in the Solomon Islands to resist unsustainable extractive industries and to develop sustainable alternatives instead.
Chris has worked with Ruddy on the case since the miners first arrived in Nende in 2016. Chris’s main role, in this case, is to assist in raising funds and to research the companies involved, the legal frameworks in which they work and to research alternative sustainable options.
Nelson Nyieda - OceansWatch Solomon Islands support
Nelson runs the OceansWatch Solomon Islands office and works with landowners there that are effected by logging and mining. Nelson is committed to assisting his Province to care for it’s environment and develop sustainable economic projects. Nelson has worked with OceansWatch since 2012, full time since 2016. Nelson is a trained Forest Ranger, Reef Guardian, and Virgin Coconut Oil program trainer.
Titus Meoblir - OceansWatch Solomon Islands support
Titus is a committed environmental activist and experienced Forest Ranger, who knows the forests of Nende like the back of his hand and feels a deep commitment to protecting them. Titus works for OceansWatch on an as needed basis leading our scientists through his forests on biodiversity surveys.
Titus is a huge help to OceansWatch, giving a hand whenever he sees the opportunity. As well as helping us in the Forests he’s a huge help with office maintenance, with our boats and on our awareness programs in the other villages on his Island.
Eryn Hooper - Environmental Scientist Name
Eryn has been involved with OceansWatch for 3 years now, firstly as a volunteer on a Vanuatu and Solomon Islands expedition in 2015. In 2016 Eryn assisted us in marine conservation work in Vanuatu as part of the RESCUE team and in 2017 lead an OceansWatch expedition in Vanuatu as well as working for us again in the RESCUE team. In early 2017 OceansWatch employed Eryn full time as our Environmental Scientist.
Eryn has worked on marine and terrestrial programs in Vanikoro and Nende in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands.
Many others, too numerous to mention are involved in supporting each other to protect their land for a sustainable future.