|One of the most exciting conservation initiatives in Asia at the moment is the Harapan Rainforest Initiative in central Sumatra, where I have just stayed for a week.|
It’s high time I write something which doesn’t seem to be the work of a manic-depressive. Many of my blogs have majored on the negatives, but I honestly wouldn’t be in this business if I didn’t have within me a deep-rooted hope for the future. As I have remarked before, conservationists are a wonderful band, but put a group of ebullient conservation friends together, and within half an hour the conversation has quieted down, turned grumpy, and you need to watch out in case any of them looks as though they are contemplating jumping from the office balcony or a handy cliff. We don’t celebrate the successes, or even the potential ones, enough. It’s a cliché to say that the war is being lost while battles are being won, but we should at least encourage each other with battle victory parties.
|The country is often dismissed as the Pacific's failed state, yet conversations with community members and officials reveal clear visions of what a state can provide in terms of services and a role in community life.|
The Gizo airstrip, reportedly built for a visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the 1970s, occupies the entire length of the island of Nusatupe – as a quick look at Google Maps confirms. It is located picturesquely, if ultimately somewhat inconveniently, about two kilometers from the provincial capital island of Gizo. As I was beginning to wonder how I was going to make my way to Gizo, a team from the Government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock fortunately pulled up in an outboard motorboat.
In December, just three months after my arrival in the Solomon Islands to serve as the World Bank’s country manager, I chose Western Province for my second trip out of Honiara. One of the main goals in my first year on the job is to visit each of the nine provinces to begin gaining some understanding of this small but complex country.
Checking out Mongabay.com, I came across a very cool application of Google Earth to see the levels of deforestation across the world, including short data sheets per country. So you can quickly see that Malaysia has lost over 6% of its forest cover between 1990 and 2005 (according to different data sources), while China has increased its own by 25% over the same period of time.
A significant feature of the Bank’s new Governance and Anticorruption (GAC) Strategy (pdf) is the emphasis on mainstreaming the focus on governance work into the sectors, such as health, education, and natural resource management. Governance, which the strategy defines as “the manner in which public officials and institutions acquire and exerci