Solomon Islands

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Country Overview 

Capital: Honiara
Land: 28,000 sq km
EEZ: 1.6 million sq km
Population: 450,000 (2003 est.)
Language: English, Pijin, local languages
Currency: Solomon Islands Dollar
Economy: Agriculture, fisheries and forestry

Solomon Islands comprises a scattered archipelago of 994 islands combining mountainous islands  as  well  as  low  lying  coral  atolls  within  a  tuna-rich  and  potentially  mineral-rich maritime Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) of 1.34 million square kilometres. The land area of 28,000  square  kilometres  with  4,023  kilometres  of  coastline  is  the  second  largest  in  the Pacific  after  Papua  New  Guinea.  The highest point in the country,  Mt  Makarakomburu  is 2,447m above sea level and is the  highest peak in the insular Pacific. There are six main islands, Choiseul, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, Malaita, Guadalcanal and Makira, which are characterized  by  a  rugged  and  mountainous  landscape  of  volcanic  origin.  Between and beyond the bigger islands are hundreds of smaller volcanic islands and low lying coral atolls. All  of  the  mountainous  islands  of  volcanic  origin  are  forested  with  many  coastal  areas surrounded by fringing reefs and lagoons.

The islands are grouped into three different major “geological provinces‟; the Pacific Geological  Province  (including  Malaita,  Ulawa  and  North  Eastern  part  of  Santa  Isabel island);  Central  Geological  Province  (Makira,  Guadalcanal  and  the  Florida  Islands,  SouthWestern part of Isabel and Choiseul) and; the Volcanic Geological Province (New Georgia, Russell  Islands,  Shortland  Islands  and  North  Western  tip  of  Guadalcanal  and  Savo). Guadalcanal is the largest island and the only one with a significant area of grassland and rich  alluvium  soils.  Most  of  the  islands  have  highly  weathered  soils  of  low  fertility  with pockets of fertile areas mainly on volcanic islands and river valleys.

The country is situated within the earthquake belt or “Ring of Fire‟ which makes it extremely vulnerable to the effects and impacts of earthquakes. A major earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred in the Western Province in 2007 causing a major tsunami that affected  the Western  and  Choiseul  provinces  and  causing  52  deaths  and  scores  missing. About  40,000  people  were  affected.  Many  islands  have  subsided  whilst  a  few  have  been uplifted  a  few  metres.  Extensive  damage  was  experienced  throughout  the  two  provinces costing hundreds of millions of dollars. The country and many communities and individuals are still recovering from this double disaster event.

Solomon  Islands  has  28,400  square  kilometers  of  land,  with  a  population  of  598,860 (September  2015  estimate).  Solomon  Islands  has  a  population  density  of  21  people  per square  kilometre.  The  capital  and  largest  city  is  Honiara,  with  a  population  estimated  at 67,000. There are no other cities with a population of more than 10,000 in the country.

Most  people  in  Solomon  Islands  are  ethnically  Melanesian  (94.5%).  Other  large  ethnic groups  include  Polynesian  (3%)  and  Micronesian  (1.2%),  with  a  few  thousand  ethnic Chinese in the country. There are 70 living languages in Solomon Islands with Melanesian languages spoken mostly on the main islands. While English is the official language, just 1 -2% of the population speaks English.

Around  80%  of  the  national  population  live  on  low  lying  coastal  areas. The capital  city  of Honiara is the only major area of economic activity and attracts increasing numbers of youth and adults per year from other islands seeking employment and income. Urban migration is estimated at 4% and with the current rate of growth the national population is expected to double by 2020.

The Solomon Island’s Human Development Index (HDI) was 0.510 in 2011, and is one of the lowest  in  the  Pacific,  and  it  ranked  142  out  of  187  countries  (UNDP,  2011).  On  the achievement  of  Millennium  Development Goals (MDGs)  a range  of  social  indicators  show that the country is likely to meet Goal 2 (Achieve universal primary education) and Goal 5 (Improve  maternal  health).  Females  still  have  less  access  than  males  to  secondary  and tertiary education while women have poor access to health and family planning services in the rural areas. According to the ADB (2010) much of the improvement in the HDI was the result  of  significant  overseas  financial  and  technical  assistance,  with  aid  levels  increasing from 22% of GDP in 1990 to 66% of GDP in 2005. An analysis of household inco me and expenditure data collected in 2005/06 shows that situations of hardship and poverty is rising with 11% of the population experiencing difficulties in acquiring basic needs.

In  its  2014  annual  report,  the  Central  Bank  of  Solomon  Islands  (CBSI)  reported  that  the Solomon Islands economy showed a lot of resilience in 2014 to recover from the negative fallouts from the April 2014 floods and the closure of Gold Ridge  mine in the second quarter. Therefore growth for  2014  was  revised  upward from  0.9% to  2.0%  but was  down  against pre-flood  projection  of  3.7%  as  a  result  of  improvements  in  key  non  mineral  sectors combined with the swift expenditure adjustments both from the national government and its development partners. Favourable external developments in particular rising prices for major export  commodities  and  falling  energy  prices  later  in  the  second  half  of  the  year  also supported the economic recovery.

The Government suffered a major setback in 2014 following the devastation caused by the April floods and the closure of the Gold Ridge mine. Fortunately, development partners were quick  to  respond  and  the  government  with  available  fiscal  space  have  cushioned  the revenue shortfall and accommodated high unplanned expenditure  pressures. These quickly restored  affected  infrastructures  and  minimised  economic  downtime.  The  Government recorded  a  fiscal  surplus  of  $129  million  during  the  year  from  revenue  collections  of  $3.1 billion and $3.0 billion in expenditures. The surplus was  attributed to unexpected increases in  revenue  particularly  from  fishing  licenses,  increased  budget  support,  and  expenditure savings most notably in the capital budget.

Despite the cessation of gold production in the Solomon Islands, total exports rose by  5.3% in  the  first  half  of  2015  over  the  same  period  in  2014,  largely  reflecting  higher  exports  of bauxite and agricultural commodities. After parliamentary elections in November 2014, passage of the 2015 budget was delayed to April  to  give  the  new  coalition  government  time  to  incorporate  its  spending  priorities.  The resulting 2015 budget provides for total expenditures that is 11.8% higher than the revised 2014 budget, mostly because of higher expenditure on flood recovery. Total revenues and grants  are  also  projected  to  rise,  but  by  only  3.3%.  Fishing  license  revenue  is  seen  to increase but not enough to offset revenue declines from suspended operations at the gold mine.  The  government  expects  to  incur  a  deficit,  equivalent  to  4.9%  of  Gross  Domestic Product  (GDP),  for  a  second  consecutive  year  and  plans  to  draw  down  cash  reserves  to finance the deficit.

Consumer prices have been declining in 2015 following large flood-related price rises last year.  Softening  international  food  and  fuel  prices  have  contributed.  Between  January  and July  2015,  consumer  prices  were  2.4%  lower  than  in  the  same  period  in  2014  driven  by reductions  in  prices  for  food,  drinks  and  tobacco,  and  housing  and  utilities  declined. However,  core  inflation  remains  positive  suggesting  that  headline  inflation  will  rise  in  the latter part of the year.

The  forecast  for  2016  remains  unchanged  as  growth  is  expected  to  benefit  from  planned fiscal expansion.

The domestic economy is expected to be more buoyant in 2015 than the previous year. The interplay  between  key  domestic  sectors  and  global  price  trends  is  anticipated  to  support further recovery. Economic growth is anticipated to increase in 2015 to 3.3% from 2.0% in 2014.  In  the  primary  sector,  the  key  drivers  are  fisheries  and  agriculture  while  logging  is expected to subside after the significant jump in 2014. The mineral sector, in spite of positive contributions from bauxite exports, would still see a decline in 2015 with the absence of gold.

External  conditions  are  expected  to  improve  slightly  over  the  previous  year  despite expectations  that  the  structural  current  account  imbalance  would  remain  in  2015.  Budget support  and  donor  capital  inflows  are  expected  to  outstrip  the  current  account  deficit  and boost  gross  foreign  reserves.  The  export  sector  however  could  worsen  on  the  back  of anticipated  declines  from  gold  and  log  export  receipts  while  imports  are  expected  to  rise modestly. Persistent falling oil prices gives temporary reprieve for the economy in terms of lower fuel import bills at least for 2015.

Date updated: March 2016

National Climate Change Priorities

The Solomon Islands Climate Change Policy is the most up to date national source of document that outlines the priorities of Solomon Islands to respond to threats of climate change at a national scale..

There are ten (10) national climate change priorities or objectives to respond to climate change and include:

Priority

Objective

a) Enabling Environment and Institutional Arrangements

Solomon  shall  have  in  place  an  effective  enabling  environment  and  institutional arrangement  to  plan,  implement  and  coordinate  an  integrated  and  multi-stakeholder participatory approach to addressing climate change.

b) Mainstreaming of Climate Change

Climate  change  shall  be  mainstreamed  into  all  development  sectors  and integrated  into  the  work  of  government  agencies,  national  institutions,  civil society and private sector

c) Vulnerability and Adaptation (V&A) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

The Government of Solomon Islands considers it vital and urgent to develop the capacity of the country to assess risks and vulnerabilities associated with climate variability  and  change  and  to  reduce  climate  change  risks  and  adapt  to  the predicted  impacts  of  climate  change.  This  includes  short  term  disaster  risk reduction measures for climate variability and episodic extreme events, and long term adaptation to climate change including,  inter-alia, enhancing ecosystem and social resilience, climate proofing infrastructure and relocating communities as a last resort.

d) Mitigation

Solomon Islands government will continue to exhort Annex-1 countries to reduce their GHG emissions. On its part the government is committed to carrying out its own inventory of emissions and pursue nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) to reduce its own GHG emissions through use of renewable energy and other  mitigation  technologies  that  brings  benefits  to  the  country’s  economy, environment  and  improves  the  livelihoods  of  its  people.

e) Research and Systematic Observation

The government shall work together with national stakeholders and development partners  to  ensure  that  there  is  a  better  understanding  of  climate  change  at  all levels  and  sections  of  society  for  the  effective  planning  and  implementation  of appropriate  climate  change  adaptation  and  mitigation  actions. 

f) Technology Transfer

The government recognizes the importance of technology transfer to enhance the country’s capacity to carry  out  adaptation  and  mitigation  actions.  Technology transferred  for  use  in  Solomon  Islands  should  be  proven  and  adaptable, environmentally  friendly,  appropriate  to  user,  culturally  friendly,  and  can  be managed  on  a  sustainable  basis. 

g) Education, Awareness and Capacity Building

The  government  shall  work  together  with  stakeholders  and  development partners  to  strengthen  the  capacity  of  national,  provincial  and  community organizations  and  human  resources  for  the  effective  planning  and implementation of appropriate climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and mitigation actions.

h) Finance and Resource Mobilization

The  government  will  ensure  that  technical  assistance  and  financial  resources  to support  climate  change  programs  and  projects  in  the  country  is  mobilized, managed  and  accounted  for  in  an  efficient,  participatory,  and  transparent manner.

i) Partnership and Cooperation 

The  government  shall  develop  and  maintain  strong  partnerships  and  work cooperatively with its national partners, stakeholders, regional and international organizations  and  institutions  and  development  partners  to  address  climate change.

j) Monitoring and Evaluation

The  government  shall  establish  a  mechanism  to  monitor  the  implementation  of this climate change policy.

The Solomon Islands Climate Change Policy Vision is: A resilient, secure and sustainable Solomon Islands responding to climate change. Its mission statement is: To enhance adaptation, disaster risk reduction and mitigation capacity throughout the Solomon Islands  that  contributes  to  increased  resilience  and  achievement  of  sustainable  development goals.

*link to Solomon Islands Climate Change Policy coming soon*

Date updated: March 2016

Governance

Solomon Islands Climate Change Policy 2012-2017 has ‘enabling environment and institutional arrangements’ as one of its first policy outcomes, directives and strategies.  The higher level outcome is improved governance as a result of establishing effective institutional arrangement and enabling environment in place to address climate change as an integrated and cross-cutting development issue. The directive and strategies of this policy outcome is provided here:

1.       Solomon  shall  have  in  place  an  effective  enabling  environment  and  institutional arrangement  to  plan,  implement  and  coordinate  an  integrated  and  multi-stakeholder participatory approach to addressing climate change. To ensure this is achieved, the Government shall:

        a. Strengthen capacity of the Climate Change Division as the government lead agency overseeing  climate  change  to  lead,  guide  and  coordinate  national programs  and actions addressing climate change, and coordinate preparations and participation in international climate change negotiations.

        b. Draft  and  enact  national  climate  change  legislation  to  give  legal  mandate  to  the government  lead  agency  responsible  for  climate  change  and  its associated coordinating  and  implementation  bodies  and  that  shall  also  include  provisions  for mandatory assessments and reporting for purposes of planning, implementing and evaluating climate change adaptation and mitigation actions.

        c. Establish  a  National  Climate  Change  Council  to  oversee  the  implementation, coordination,  monitoring  and  evaluation  of  national  climate  change policies  and strategies.

        d. Establish  a  Climate  Change  Working  Group  (CCWG)  to  provide  inter-agency  and inter-stakeholder  coordination  for  the  implementation  of  the policy.  The Membership, scope and role of the CCWG is presented in Annex 5 of the Policy. For access to annex 5 of the policy, download a copy of the policy here: [link to Solomon Island Climate Change Policy 2012-2017 coming soon]

         e. Strengthen capacity of the government lead agency overseeing climate change to be the Secretariat of the National Climate Change Council.

         f. Enhance  the  role  and  capacity  of  the  Environment  and  Conservation  Standing Committee of Parliament to include oversight over Climate Change.

         g. Develop national and provincial level climate change policies and strategies that is in line  with  the  NDS  and  other  national  sector  policies  and  National Disaster Management Framework.

         h. Establish  national  Thematic  Working  Groups  (TWG)  to  provide  technical  and strategic support and advice to the lead agency and National Climate Change Council on  climate  change  issues.  The  working  groups  shall  oversee  the  following  climate change thematic areas;

                                     i. Vulnerability, disaster risk reduction and adaptation;

                                     ii. Mitigation & Greenhouse gas inventory;

                                     iii. Research, Systematic Observation and Technology Transfer; and

                                     iv. Education, awareness and capacity building.

The membership, broad scope and role of the Thematic Working Groups and linkage to the lead  agency  and  National  Climate  Change  Council  is  presented  in  Annex  6 of the  Policy document.

         i. Establish formal climate change coordination arrangements within Provincial Governments using existing or new coordinating bodies.

         j. Designate  officials  as  Climate  Change  Focal  Points  within  national  and  provincial government  Ministries  and  Departments  as  well  as  national institutions  and  civil society organizations

         k. Establish community-based or village-based climate change coordination arrangements using existing or new coordinating bodies.

In its efforts to pursue social and economic development objectives the people and government of  Solomon  Islands  have  been  relying  heavily  on  the  nation’s  natural  resources  base  and  the support  from  development  partners.  Additionally,  and  despite  its  limited  capacity,  the government  has  taken  significant  steps  in  the  past  ten  years  to  begin  implementing  climate change adaptation and mitigation actions including the development of the National Adaptation Program of Action, National Disaster Management Strategy, Renewable Energy Framework and establishing  a  government  agency  to  oversee  climate  change.  Civil  society  organizations  are building  capacity  to  support  communities  adapt  to  climate  change  and  the  private  sector  has made steady progress with renewable energy technologies.

The government recognizes that climate change is a sustainable development issue that brings challenges as well as opportunities. Achieving the optimum level of economic growth to support the rapidly growing population will require a scaling up of economic activities and utilization of natural  capital  that  will  also  give  rise  to  increasing  environmental  impacts  and  emissions  of greenhouse  gases  in  the  future.  Climate  change  will  also  threaten  the  successful implementation  and  achievement  of  Solomon  Islands  National  Development  Strategy  into  the future and place added burden on government resources.

Building on the progress to date and recognizing the need to enhance adaptive capacity while pursuing  a  low  carbon  development  pathway,  Solomon Islands recently developed its climate change policy 2012-2017 that   provides  a  national  strategic framework  for  the  country  to  address  the  challenges  and  benefit  from  the  opportunities  that climate change brings. The policy links government, civil society and development partners in a strategic and coordinated approach to addressing climate change.   It  seeks  to  find  a  balance between  socio-economic  development  and  sustainable  utilization  of  natural  resources  as  a climate change  adaptation  and  mitigation  measure.  The policy is framed to take advantage of the dual benefits of adaptation through mitigation and to position the country to benefit from the growing range of global innovative financing opportunities such as the Adaptation Fund, the Green Climate Fund, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and  Forest  Degradation  (REDD+).

On  the  international  front  Solomon  Islands  is  a  Party  to  the  United  Nations  Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)and its Kyoto Protocol which together make up the core of the international policy response to climate change. Solomon Islands is also a signatory to  the  Hyogo  Framework  on  Disaster  Risk  Management and  has  been  involved  in  the European Union- Global Climate Change Alliance programmes . The country continues to benefit from funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which is the financing mechanism for the UNFCCC  made  available  through  Implementing  Agencies  such  as  the  UNDP,  UNEP,  FAO  and World Bank.

Within  the  Pacific  regional  level,  Solomon  Islands  is  a  signatory  to  the  Pacific  Plan,  Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change (PIFACC)and the  Regional Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management that have established climate change and  disaster  risk  management  related  objectives  and  actions.  Partnerships  continue  to  be developed with a number of international and regional inter-governmental organizations, some of  which  have  specific  mandates  to  assist  their  member  countries  address  climate  change, disaster risk management and related development issues. At  the  national  level  the  government’s  overarching  development  planning  framework  is  the Solomon  Islands  National  Development  Strategy:  2011-2020  (NDS). The  NDS  includes  a range  of  Focus  Areas  and  Objectives,  Policies  and  Strategies  that  together  can  contribute  to enhance adaptation, disaster risk management and mitigation capacity in Solomon Islands.

Amongst  the  Strategy’s  various  themes  and  objectives,  Theme  7  is  targeted  at  ‘Creating  and Maintaining the Enabling Environment’. Under this theme are two objectives including;

Objective 7:  Effectively Respond to Climate Change and Manage the Environment and Risks of Natural Disasters.

Objective 8:  Improve Governance and Order at National, Provincial and Community Levels and Strengthen Links at all levels.

Under each of the above objectives are a range of policies and strategies which are also reflected in Solomon Island’s climate change policy. Solomon Islands have an armoury of national legislations and regulations together with a range of policies to support development planning and implementation. Many of the legislations and regulations  still  need  to  be  effectively  enforced  through  strengthened  capacity  of  the government.

For more information, go to: Solomon Island Climate Change Policy 2012-2017 

Date updated: March 2016

Adaptation

Solomon Island’s third climate change priority outlined in its national climate change policy 2012-2017 addresses key themes of vulnerability, adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The Government of Solomon Islands considers it vital and urgent to develop the capacity of the country to assess risks and vulnerabilities associated with climate variability  and  change  and  to  reduce  climate  change  risks  and  adapt  to  the predicted  impacts  of  climate  change.  This  includes  short  term  disaster  risk reduction measures for climate variability and episodic extreme events, and long term adaptation to climate change including,  inter-alia, enhancing ecosystem and social resilience, climate proofing infrastructure and relocating communities as a last resort.

Accordingly, the priority directives and strategies to minimize vulnerability and risks and enhance adaptation capacity the government include the following:

 a) Address  the  NAPA  priority  sectors  and  implement  the  range  of  projects  and actions as Solomon Islands urgent adaptation needs. In order of priority, these      include;

      (i) “increase the resilience of food production and enhance food security to the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise.”

      (ii) increase the resilience of water resources management to impacts of climate change and sea-level rise

      (iii) improve the capacity for managing impacts of climate change and sea-level

      (iv) rise on human settlements

      (v) increase  the capacity  of health  professionals  to  address adverse impacts of climate on human health

      (vi) promote  climate  change  education,  awareness  and  information dissemination

      (vii) facilitate  adequate  adaptation  to  climate  change  and  sea-level  rise  in  low lying and artificially built-up islands in Malaita and Temotu provinces.

      (viii) better manage impacts of climate change on waste management

      (ix) increase  the  resilience  and  enhance  adaptive  capacity  of  coastal communities, socio-economic activities and infrastructure

      (x) improve  the  understanding  of  the  effects  of  climate  change  and  climate variability  including  El  Nino-Southern  Oscillation  on  the  inshore  and  tuna            fishery resources

      (xi) climate proofing of key infrastructure to risks including sea-level rise.

      (xii) integrate  climate  change  adaptation  strategies  and  measures  into  tourism planning and development.

b) Review and revise the NAPA and MECDM Strategic Plan and develop a National Adaptation  Plan  (NAP)  to  address  climate  change  over  the  short,  medium  and long  term.  The  NAP  shall  address  long  term  adaptation  to  climate  change  and short term disaster risk reduction in relation to climate variability.

c) Develop a Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and other hazards, ensuring an integrated and coordinated manner at national, provincial and community levels.

d) Strengthen the capacity and partnerships of national and provincial government agencies,  national  institutions,  NGOs,  churches  and  all  Solomon  Island communities to undertake vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) assessments for different sectors and geographic areas.

e) Expand the national census portfolio and integrate questions to obtain data on extreme events, vulnerability and adaptation.  Collaborate  with  and utilise data from other relevant sources to address features of risk.

f) Provide  support  to  ministries,  provincial  governments  and  civil  society organizations, including faith-based and private sector organisations, to review and  revise  their  corporate  plans,  sector  programs  and  strategies  to  include measures  to  assess  vulnerability  of  sectors  and  identify  and  implement adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies and actions

g) Develop a coordinated and geo-referenced national information system covering livelihood  assets  –  natural,  human,  financial,  social  and  physical  capital  –  that can be used to identify sensitivities to climate change, adaptive capacity, and key strategies  covering  vulnerable  groups,  natural  resources  and  environmental management and disaster risk reduction and management.

h) Build capacity, plan and implement ecosystem-based vulnerability assessments and adaptation programs and actions including, inter-alia, implementation of the protected  areas  legislation  and  regulations,  low-impact  logging  strategies, marine ecosystem management.

i) Undertake risk reduction and vulnerability assessments of urban settlements in Honiara, other urban centres, and sites of national economic priority. Plan and implement adaptation actions.

j) Undertake  risk  reduction  and  vulnerability  assessments  of  rural  communities and implement adaptation actions targeting prioritized vulnerable communities.

k) Strengthen  capacity  to  integrate  climate  change  considerations  into Environmental  Impact  Assessments  (EIA)  and  Strategic  Environmental Assessments (SEA) and revise the Environment Act to integrate climate change.

l) Undertake  gender  analysis  and  integrate  gender  considerations  as  part  of vulnerability  and  disaster  risk  assessments  as  well  as  adaptation  actions. Inclusive participation of women and youth should be actively encouraged at all levels in order to build the capacity of vulnerable groups.

m) Develop a  relocation  guideline  and  assessment  tools,  build  capacity  and implement relocation of communities as an adaptation action where and when necessary.

n) Strengthen  capacity  of  Solomon  Islands  Meteorological  Services  and  National Disaster  Management  Office  to  provide  appropriate  field  instrumentation  and early  warning  systems  with  special  focus  on  regions  in  the  country  more vulnerable to extreme events.

(o) Promote  and  implement  community  based  programs  and  actions  within  a cooperative  framework  to  strengthen  social  capital,  skills  and  resilience  as  an adaptation strategy.

For more information, go to: [links to Solomon Island Climate Change Policy and Solomon Island NAPA coming soon]

Date updated: March 2016

Current Climate

Solomon Island’s annual and half-year minimum temperatures have been increasing at Honiara since 1953 and Munda (on the island of  New Georgia in the Western Province) since 1962.  Minimum temperature trends are generally stronger than maximum temperature trends. There have been significant increases in Warm Nights and decreases in Cool Nights at Honiara and Munda. Cool Days have decreased at Munda. These temperature trends are consistent with global warming.

Annual and half-year rainfall trends show little change at Honiara since 1950 and Munda since 1962. At Honiara, there is a decreasing trend in the number of rain days since 1955 and at Munda there is an increasing trend in annual maximum 1-day rainfall since 1962.

Tropical cyclones affect Solomon Islands mainly between November and April. An average of 29 cyclones per decade developed within or crossed the Solomon Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between the 1969/70 to 2010/11 seasons. Tropical cyclones were most frequent in El Niño years (39 cyclones per decade) and least frequent in La Niña and neutral years (21 cyclones per decade). Twenty-two of the 82 tropical cyclones (27%) between the 1981/82 and 2010/11 seasons were severe events (Category 3 or stronger) in the Solomon Islands EEZ. Fifteen of the 22 intense events occurred in seasons when an El Niño was present. Available data are not suitable for assessing long-term trends.

Wind-waves around the Solomon slands vary across the country, being small at Honiara, while at the outlying islands such as Santa Cruz waves are much larger. Seasonally, waves are influenced by the trade winds and the West Pacific Monsoon (WPM), and display variability on inter annual time scales with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, 2014.

Future Climate

For the period to 2100, the latest global climate model (GCM) projections and climate science findings indicate:

  • El Niño and La Niña events will continue to occur in the future (very high confidence), but there is little consensus on whether these events will change in intensity or frequency;
  • Annual mean temperatures and extremely high daily temperatures will continue to rise (very high confidence);
  • Annual rainfall is projected to increase slightly (low confidence), with more extreme rain events (high confidence);
  • Incidence of drought is projected to decrease slightly (low confidence);
  • Ocean acidification is expected to continue (very high confidence);
  • The risk of coral bleaching will increase in the future (very high confidence);
  • Sea level will continue to rise(very high confidence); and
  • December–March wave heights are projected to decrease (low confidence), while there are no significant changes projected in June–September waves (low confidence)

Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, 2014.

Date updated: March 2016

Knowledge Management & Education

In the Solomon Islands, education, awareness and capacity building are essential components of minimizing risks and vulnerabilities and adapting to climate change. Capacity building actions can take place at the systemic  (enabling  environment),  institutional  and  individual  levels  and  should  have  the ownership  of  target  beneficiaries  to  ensure  effective  implementation  of  adaptation  and mitigation actions.

The 2012-2017 climate change policy’s 7th policy outcome and priority is education, awareness and capacity building. The directive is such that the  government  shall  work  together  with  stakeholders  and  development partners  to  strengthen  the  capacity  of  national,  provincial  and  community organizations  and  human  resources  for  the  effective  planning  and implementation of appropriate climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and mitigation actions. The strategies for this directive are:

     a) Support  agencies  and  partners  to  develop  and  implement  climate  change communication  strategies  to  ensure  that  clear  messages  about  climate  change are produced and disseminated.

     b) Integrate  climate  change  into  the  national  primary,  secondary  and  tertiary  as well as non-formal curricula.

     c) Assess  capacity  needs  from  time  to  time  and  identify  and  prioritize  human resources  development  needs  and  train  specialized  experts  through  targeted scholarships and training activities.

    d) Design and deliver training packages aimed at raising people’s understanding of climate  change  and  enhance  knowledge  and  skills  to  plan  and  implement adaptation, disaster risk reduction and mitigation actions.

    e) Strengthen data and information management systems and protocols to enable effective dissemination and sharing of information.

A number of climate change adaptation projects have addressed a number of these strategies as demonstrations. For example the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Solomon Islands project (PACC). For more information on these projects, click the "Related Projects" tab.

Date updated: March 2016

Mitigation

High levels of GHG emitted into the atmosphere mainly by developed countries and some large developing  countries  is  the  main  cause  of  global  warming  and  climate  change.  During international negotiations over the past years Solomon Islands has joined other LDCs, SIDS and the  AOSIS  to  urge  developed  (Annex  1)  countries  to  commit  to  establishing  GHG  emission targets, limit CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere to 350ppm from the current 380ppm and to  limit  atmospheric  temperature  rise  to  1.5  degrees.  The  Solomon  Islands  National Communications  to  the UNFCCC  has  established  that  the  energy,  forestry  (logging)  and  waste management  sectors  produce  the  most  GHG  emissions  in  the  country.  According to many scientists it is possible to decrease the level to 350ppm. This can be achieved by not using coal as  fuel,  protect  and  plant  more  areas  of  forests,  shift  to  a  low  emission  agriculture  practice, improve waste management to reduce emissions and increase significantly the use of renewable energy.

Solomon Island’s fourth climate change priority outlined in its national climate change policy 2012-2017 is mitigation. The mitigation priority for Solomon Islands government will be to continue to exhort Annex-1 countries to reduce their GHG emissions. On its part the government is committed to carrying out its own inventory of emissions and pursue nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) to reduce its own GHG emissions through use of renewable energy and other  mitigation  technologies  that  brings  benefits  to  the  country’s  economy, environment  and  improves  the  livelihoods  of  its  people. To achieve this the government plans to:

  1. Build capacity of Government, private sector and other relevant institutions to undertake  regular  inventory  of  GHG  emissions  and  sinks  (removals),  monitor emissions  and  removals,  establish  the  national  carbon  balance  and  prioritize emission reduction strategies and actions.
  2. Develop  a  Nationally  Appropriate  Mitigation  Actions  (NAMAs)  strategy  at National,  Provincial  and  Honiara  City  Council  and  other  urban  areas  that  can contribute  to  the  achievement  of  a  Low  Carbon  Development.  The  NAMA  will include clear measurable targets and include the following sectors and themes:
    1. Renewable energy and energy efficiency
    2. Reducing  emissions  from  the  forest  sector  through  sustainable  forest management,  CDM  projects,  REDD+  projects  and  voluntary  carbon trading mechanisms.
    3. Low emission agriculture including promotion of organic and low tillage agriculture
    4. Reducing emissions from the waste sector
  3. Strengthen  capacity  of  Government,  private  sector  and  other  relevant institutions  for  the  implementation  of  the  national  Renewable  Energy  Policy Framework,  and  develop  and  implement  renewable  energy  strategies  for Honiara city and Provinces, with measurable targets.
  4. Strengthen  capacity  of  the  Climate  Change  lead  agency  as  the  Designated National Authority for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and regulatory body  for  carbon  trade,  to  raise  awareness  about  CDM  and  its  benefits  to  the country  and  build  capacity  of  national  stakeholders  to  design  and  implement CDM projects.
  5. Establish and strengthen governance  and  capacity  for  carbon  trade  through CDM, REDD+ and Voluntary Carbon Trading including establishment of carbon trading legislation.
  6. Ensure  resource  owners  maximize  benefits  from  carbon  trading  arrangements by  immediately  raising  awareness  on  carbon  trade  in  the  forest  sector  and establish  procedures  for  assessing  investors  and  carbon  trading  arrangements between  investors  and   communities  as  an  interim  measure,  prior  to  the enactment of carbon trading legislation and regulatory framework.
  7. Strengthen  capacity  of  Ministry  of  Forest  and  Research   to  support  forest resource  owners  implement  sustainable  forest  management  and  forest  carbon assessments  for  effective  monitoring,  reporting  and  verification  under  carbon trading regimes. Strengthen capacity of Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to support resource owners implement carbon assessments and carbon trading through agriculture mitigation and renewable energy programs.
  8. Integrate gender analysis  and  gender  considerations  in  planning  and implementation of mitigation actions.

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions

Solomon Islands mitigation contribution pledged in September 2015 is for the period 2020, with reference to 2025 and ending in 2030 for defining contribution or outcomes as follows:

Type and level of commitment:

All commitments are premised on:

  1. A fair and ambitious agreement being reached, reflecting Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities; and
  2. Timely access to international climate change financing, capacity building and technology.

Solomon Islands is a LDC SIDS, that will nonetheless commit to reduce emissions by: 12% below 2015 level by 2025 and 30% below 2015 level by 2030 compared to a BaU projection. On the understanding that a global agreement addresses international assistance to access financial and technical resources, Solomon Islands can with international assistance, contribute a further:

  • 27% reduction in GHG emissions by 2025; and
  • 45% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, compared to a BaU projection.

With appropriate international assistance, Solomon Islands can reduce its emissions by more than 50% by 2050

Reference year or period: 2015. The BaU projection is based on an extrapolation of historic data covering the period 1994-2010

Estimated quantified emissions impact:

In addition to the carbon storage in the forest and ocean ecosystem, Solomon Islands unconditional contribution will reduce 8,300 tCO2e annually Solomon Islands’ conditional contribution (with international assistance) will reduce emissions by 18,800 tCO2e annually by 2025, and by 31,125 tCO2e annually by 2030

Coverage

% of National emissions

INDC covers fossil fuels and forest sequestration. Fossil-fuel use covers more than 95% of the reported national inventory

 

Gases

Carbon dioxide only (estimated > 95% of inventory)

 

Sectors

Energy sector: Power (39%) Transport (61%)

Renewable and EE

Land use, Land Use Change and Forestry

 

Geographical boundaries

Whole of country

Further information, relevant to commitment type

Commitments are in the form of Outcomes and Actions. These are referenced as deviation from Business as Usual projections. BaU projections are based on fossil fuel consumption data for the period 1994-2010, with line of best fit extrapolation to 2030. The projection will be revised to include more accurate information with the Third National Communication and Biennial Update Report.

Intention to use market based mechanisms to meet commitments

 

Solomon Islands will consider other avenues as well as market based mechanisms to support establishment and operation of a National Climate Change Trust Fund

Land sector accounting approach 

 

Appropriate methodologies drawn from international best practice to quantify sequestration from above 400m contour and forest plantations

Estimated macro-economic impact and marginal cost of abatement

NE

For more information go to: Solomon Islands INDC

Date updated: March 2016

Focal Points – Climate Change And Disaster Risk Management

Climate Change    
Primary Focal Point for this country profile:
David Hiba

Director Climate Change
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology,
P.O. Box 21, Honiara, Solomon Islands
P:(677) 24074
F(677) 28054
Email: david.hiba@met.gov.sb     

UNFCCC National Focal Point and GEF Operational Focal Point
Chanel Iroi

Undersecretary – Technical
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology,
P.O. Box 21, Honiara, Solomon Islands
P:(677)  20331
F:(677)  28054
Email: c.iroi@met.gov.sb     

ENVIRONMENT
Mr. Joe Horokou

Director Environment and CBD Focal Point
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology
PO Box 21
HONIARA
Solomon Islands
Email: horokoujoe@gmail.com    

METEOROLOGY
Mr. David Hiriasia

Director
Solomon Islands Meteorological Services
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology
P O Box 21
HONIARA, Solomon Islands
Email: david.hiba@met.gov.sb    

Dr. Melchior Mataki
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology
PO Box 21, Honiara, Solomon Islands
P:(677) 27751
F:(677) 28054
Email: psmataki@mecm.gov.sb    
    
Disaster Risk Management    
Loti Yates            

Director               
National Disaster Management Office
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology,
P.O. Box 21, Honiara, Solomon Islands
P:(677) 27936
F:(677) 27060
Email: directorndc@ndmo.gov.sb    

Date updated: March 2016 

References

The following references have been used to develop the country profile.  It is important to note that contributions are from local, regional and international agencies.  The profile is reviewed by the national focal point for accuracy.   We encourage you to contact the country contacts (focal points) if any documents cannot be accessed through the links.

  1. Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO (2014). Climate Variability, Extremes and Change in the Western Tropical Pacific: New Science and Updated Country Reports. Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning Program Technical Report, Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Melbourne, Australia
  2. Solomon Islands Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Meteorology [SIMECM] (2009).Solomon Islands National Adaptation Programmes of Action. Retrieved from http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/napa/slb01.pdf
  3. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Energy Programme, Economic Development Division. Suva, Fiji. (2012) Solomon Islands Country Energy Security Indicator Profile 2009.
  4. Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Aviation [SIMCTA] (2004). Solomon Islands. Initial National Communications under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Retrieved from http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/slbnc1.pdf

Date updated: March 2016