Solomon Islands

Location

Honiara
Solomon Islands
9° 25' 0.012" S, 160° 3' 0" E

Capital Based Focal Point:

Department National Planning and Aid Coordination

Capital City: 
Honiara
Languages: 
English
Category: Social
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Net enrollment ratio in primary education 63.3 61.8 MDG Database
Seats held by women in national parliament, percentage 2 2 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above) World Bank
Category: Land
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Agricultural land (1000 Ha) 76 77 79 83 83 83 83 84 84 FAO
Forest area (sq km) 23,710 23,312 22,914 22,516 22,118 21,720 21,322 20,924 World Bank
Forest area (% of land area) 84.70999999999999 83.29000000000001 81.86 80.44 79.019999999999996 77.59999999999999 76.18000000000001 74.76000000000001 World Bank
Category: Tourism
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
International tourism receipts (% of total exports) 4 9 1 2 4 7 8 Development Data Group, The World Bank. 2008. 2008 World Development Indicators Online. Washington, DC: The World Bank. Available at: http://go.worldbank.org/U0FSM7AQ40.
Category: Demographics
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Country population 415,544 426,847 438,317 449,956 461,771 473,761 485,924 498,240 510,672 523,170 World Bank
Population annual growth 2.71469 2.68371 2.65168 2.62074 2.59193 2.56339 2.53493 2.50297 2.46456 2.4179 World Bank
Maternal mortality ratio (modeled estimate, per 100,000 live births) 110 110 100 World Bank
Category: Indices
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
HDI - Human Development Index 0.459 0.483 0.493 0.494 0.493 0.492 0.494 UNDP International Human Development Indicators - Calculated based on data from UNDESA (2009d), Barro and Lee (2010), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2010b), World Bank (2010b) and IMF(2010a).
Category: Economy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) 1,970 1,820 1,730 1,840 1,950 2,060 2,230 2,320 2,260 1,860 World Bank
ODA received as % of GNI 15.67 14.65 8.06 18.12 32.030000000000001 47.77 44.37 46.71 35.079999999999998 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Workers remittances (current US$) 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,000,000 4,000,000 8,700,000 7,200,000 20,432,000 20,432,000 20,432,000 UN Data
Category: Energy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Electric power consumption (kWh) World Bank
Combustible renewables and waste (metric tons of oil equivalent) World Bank
Fossil fuel energy consumption (% of total) World Bank
Category: Climate Change and Sea-level Rise
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), thousand metric tons of CO2 (CDIAC) 165 172 172 180 180 180 180 198 MDG Database (CDIAC Data)
Category: Freshwater
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Improved water source (% of population with access) 70 69 World Bank
Category: Biodiversity
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)

Climate Change

The Solomon Islands submitted its Initial Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC, and has also prepared a National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).

The Solomon Islands has particular problems and concerns in dealing with the effects of climate change, climate variability and extreme weather events. Climate change will be a major impediment to the achievement of sustainable development in the Solomon Islands, as all economic and social sectors are likely to be adversely affected and the cost of adaptation will be disproportionately high relative to gross domestic product (GDP). There are also severe challenges resulting from sea level rise that are currently emerging in the northern atolls of the Solomons, particularly Ontong Java atoll. Subsistence root crops have been failing for almost a decade there due to saltwater inundation and intrusion into the raised beds traditionally used for gardening. Although average sea levels have not yet permanently inundated these regions, severe weather and high tides have resulted in a worsening of such problems. Similar problems of inundation have been reported from the artificial islands in the province of Malaita, some of which have existed for more than 500 years.

Solomon Islands National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA)
Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report
Solomon Islands Initial Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC

Natural and Environmental Disasters

The Solomon Islands' national disaster response strategy is guided by the National Disaster Act (1989) and the National Disaster Plan (1987).

The Solomon Islands continues to be impacted by a range of natural disasters of both atmospheric and geological origin. The Solomon Island’s vulnerability to extreme events is apparent from a long and growing list of adverse events resulting from climatic and tectonic incidents. The key hazards of the Solomon Islands include tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, and droughts. Landslide, particularly associated with tropical cyclones and earthquakes, are a widespread hazard in the Solomon Islands. Landslides account for most of the fatalities that have occurred during tropical cyclones in the past century. Volcanic hazards represent a rare but potentially catastrophic event in terms of damage and loss of life. The most recent natural disaster was the January 2010 earthquake and tsunami, which left more than 1,000 people homeless. The Solomon Islands is hit by at least 2 cyclones per year between November and April.

Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report
Reducing the Risk of Disasters and Climate Variability in the Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands Country Assessment

Waste Management

The Soomon Islands has recently finalized a National Waste Management Strategy.

Solid waste is a growing problem, particularly in urban areas such as Honiara. Public attitudes and existing policies prevent execution of a comprehensive approach to waste management. Due to poor public awareness and policy absence, a great amount of household-compostable solid waste continues to be added to the landfill waste stream, overburdening the waste collection and disposal function of the Honiara City Council. Similar problems exist for other population centres in the country. Sewage effluent from urban areas and crowded coastal rural areas as well as plastic waste is increasingly evident in sea pollution, and is again related to public attitudes towards waste and the high availability of cheap plastic packaging materials. In addition to this, there continues to be concern about the potential of oil leakage from bunkerage in sunken World War II vessels throughout the Solomons.

Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Coastal and Marine Resources

The government of the Solomon Islands is conducting a number of ongoing programmes in the areas of community-level fisheries and commercial export fisheries. The Solomon Islands has also developed an action plan as part of the Coral Triangle Initiative.

The majority of the country’s population lives within the coastal regions of the islands and is highly vulnerable to coastal environmental issues, particularly those related to severe weather events and other natural disasters such as tsunami. Coastal and marine resource have a massive potential to contribute to sustainable development of the country through export earnings from tuna and commercial pelagic fishery but especially from the continued productivity of nearshore, subsistence and artisanal fishery. The state of the coastal environment throughout the Solomons varies widely depending on the extent of human presence and exploitation and on the effects of recent natural disasters. In the vicinity of urban areas such as Honiara, and within peri-urban or heavily populated regions such as the Auki-Langalanga region, there is considerable environmental degradation due to waste effluent, overexploitation of marine species and habitat destruction through land clearing and reclamation. The Solomon Islands possesses considerable fisheries resources, both inshore and open ocean. With the approaching exhaustion of loggable forest, there is a great deal of policy emphasis on fisheries, particularly tuna. The Solomon Islands is one of five countries in the Pacific region whose sea territories jointly enclose more than 40% of the world's tuna stocks.

Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Freshwater Resources

A number of programs are currently being implemented in the country, including an urban component which involves hydrological investigation of urban Honiara water sources for subsequent development. The Rural Water Supply Programme complements other programs that are focused on urban areas.

Freshwater resource availability varies widely between different inhabited landforms in the country. The large, high islands have significant river systems providing large volumes of freshwater, but smaller, low islands and atolls are reliant on groundwater in the form of a freshwater lens and on rainfall collection. Reticulated water supplies are available to only 50% of the national population, mainly on the large island. Population pressures and saltwater inundation of the freshwater lens due to sea level rise are the main issues for small island water resources, while watershed degradation due to logging and human settlement growth is the primary threat to larger islands' water resources. Contamination of groundwater is a significant issue in the capital and other urban areas due to a low incidence of reticulated sewage and a high reliance on septic tanks.

Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Land Resources

The government is funding a number of important programmes to address land issues, the most significant being the Land Reform Programme. The Solomon Islands also has a national forest policy.

Land issues continue to be prominent sources of conflict, both at local and national levels. Because of continued strong links between people and their lands, issues of land use, migration and resettlement remain potent determinants of stability and conflict. The Solomon Islands forestry sector comprises logging and plantation forestry. Logging remains at a crisis level, set to exhaust the accessible resources in the very near future. The non-subsistence agricultural sector comprises smallholders and large corporate development projects. Smallholders possess extensive and dispersed plantings of coconut, cacao and market gardens. Market gardens produce almost exclusively for the local market, although the have been occasional small exports of fresh produce to the Australian and New Zealand markets. There is very extensive activity in the mining industry.

Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Energy Resources

Developing renewable and environmentally friendly energy is the central focus of the government's energy policy in the form of the National Energy Policy Framework. The Framework was endorsed by the Cabinet in 2007.

The energy sector in the Solomon Islands continues to be dominated by fossil fuel use, with more than 4 million litres imported on average per month. Approximately 60% of this import level is consumed in power generation by the national electricity authority, SIEA, or by institutional and private sector generation plants. The remaining 40% of the import volume is consumed in roughly equal measure by the transportation sector (22%) and the community sector (18%) in the form of kerosene or petrol for power and cooking in villages. Essentially all transport fuels and the majority of power generation relies on imported petroleum products. There are two private producers of biofuel, selling to the Honiara market, but at very low volumes. There is considerable potential for coconut-based biofuel because of the massive plantings of coconut throughout the country. A number of micro-hydro power stations are in operation in three provinces, with plans for the installation of two more. There is very significant potential for further hydroelectricity development throughout the country amounting to more than 330 megawatts of generation potential, and more than 70% of this potential is identified on Guadalcanal, where the capital is located.

Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report
Pacific Regional Energy Assessment 2004: Solomon Islands National Report

Tourism

Sustainable tourism has been implemented in the Solomons through its Tourism Sector Programme.

Despite high level policy recognition of the place of tourism in national sustainable development, progress in developing the sector remains slow. Poor national infrastructure, particularly in the area of communications and air transport, has hampered the increases in visitor numbers which many plans call for. Some hotel and resort development in the past 5 years has increased bed capacity within the capital Honiara as well as introduced additional options and variety in higher-end offerings in the Western Province. The 2007 earthquake and tsunami have posed particularly difficult challenges for the key attraction areas of the Western Province, with considerable reef damage as well as destruction of infrastructure at the nucleus resort town of Gizo.

Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report

Biodiversity

The Solomon Islands has a National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan.

Biodiversity resources are foundational to the operation and resilience of the subsistence economy which sustains and protects the massive majority of the rural population. Subsistence food, shelter and medicinal supplies for the majority of the population are directly derived from ecosystems which are functional because of high biodiversity. As such, biodiversity is a prominent contributor to human security and sustainable development in the country. Globally significant biological diversity exists throughout the country, on both land and marine environments, much of it still undescribed. The Solomon Islands' forests are recognised as “Globally Outstanding” and are included as an ecoregion in the Global 200 listing, with a high degree of endemism. Marine biodiversity is at similarly remarkable levels, with the Solomon Islands forming part of the Coral Triangle of four countries with exceptional levels of marine biodiversity. A considerable proportion of the subsistence sector depends on key biodiversity either directly or indirectly, particularly in the form of functioning biomes such as coral reefs and mangroves. Habitat destruction is the most significant threat to these biomes, and is being driven by commercial activities as well as subsistence and settlement spread.

Solomon Islands National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan
Solomon Islands MSI+5 National Assessment Report
Country Strategies: 
Title Programme Name Programme Description Year
Disaster management Strategy - Solomon Islands Reducing the Risk of Disasters and Climate Variability in the Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands Country Assessment 2009
Energy Strategy - Solomon Islands Pacific Regional Energy Assessment 2004: Solomon Islands National Report 2004
UNFCCC Nat Comm - Solomon Islands Initial national communications under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Strategy Description 2004
NAPA - Solomon Islands National Adaption Programmes of Action Strategy Description 2008
NBSAP - Solomon Islands National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan Strategy Description 2009
NSDS- Solomon Islands National Assessment Report: Solomon Islands 2006
16 Nov 2012 | SIDS Policy and Practice
1 November 2012: Seven Pacific islands delivered the outcomes of their Cost Benefit Analyses (CBAs), during the conclusion workshop of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PACC). The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) began the series of trainings in November 2011, to support countries in conducting CBAs and thereby improve the selection and design of adaptation projects. The conclusion workshop took place in Apia, Samoa, from 30 October- 2 November...
15 Nov 2012 | SIDS Policy and Practice
12 November 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Risø Centre supported the participation of 12 representatives from Pacific island countries in the Carbon Expo Australasia 2012, which took place from 7-9 November 2012, in Melbourne, Australia. According to the Risø Centre, representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu attended the Expo. Support for their attendance was part of the Pacific regional Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) capacity-building...
06 Nov 2012 | SIDS Policy and Practice
5 November 2012: The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has announced that the Japan Technical Cooperation Project for the Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management (J-PRISM) programme, a five-year project funded by the Government of Japan, is successfully building the capacity of Pacific Island countries through a “learning-by-doing” approach. J-PRISM is coordinated in partnership with SPREP. According to SPREP, J-PRISM activities are centered...
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