The unique upland forests of Kolombangara Island in Western Province include some of the last intact high elevation tropical rainforest in the western Pacific. The 19,689 ha between 400 m and the summit of Mt. Veve (1,770 m above sea level) is home to some of Solomon Island's most iconic species and support an array of customary uses. WCS is supporting local community-based organization, Kolombangara Island Biodiversity Conservation Association (KIBCA), to develop a national protected area to secure the forest from logging threats.
WCS has been supporting work on Kolombangara Island since 2016 to enable effective ridge-to-reef management. We completed the first ever island-wde coral reef survey in 2016, and supported KIBCA and Ecological Solutions-Solomon Islands to carry out comprehensive scoping consultations of Kolombangara landowners to gauge interest in protected area development. Given the strong desire of landowners to secure their forests from logging threat, we have been supporting KIBCA to go through the formal steps required for designation under the Protected Areas Act. Through this process, we are also working very closely with other island institutions, including the Forest Stewardship Council-certified company Kolombangara Forest Products Ltd, the Kolombangara Landowners Trust Foundation and the Kolombangara Island Council of Chiefs. We are working with stakeholders to further develop ecotourism opportunities on the island, which will entail training for nature guides, as well hospitality training for ecolodges.