Press Release —Local July 12, 2021

Solomon Islands: Developing Planned Relocation Guidelines in the Context of Slow and Sudden Onset Disasters

With support from IOM Development Fund, IOM Solomon Islands has been implementing the project titled “Solomon Islands: Developing Planned Relocation Guidelines in the Context of Slow and Sudden Onset Disasters". The objective of this project is to contribute to disaster and climate resilience of communities inhabiting slow and sudden onset disaster prone areas in the Solomon Islands.

Technical studies and community consultation for the development of relocation guidelines for low-lying atolls and artificial islands vulnerable to climate change will commence soon as preparation and logistic work is finalised.

IOM has contracted an international group in partnership with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey (MLHS) to develop the relocation guidelines for Solomon Islands in the context of climate change and other slow and sudden onset disasters. This work is undertaken under the guidance of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee with representation from both Government and Non-Government stakeholders co-chaired by the Permanent Secretaries of MLHS and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology.

The study will involve consultations and interviews with stakeholders throughout the country including in-depth field studies in four communities that have been relocated to their present locations.

The key output of this study is to develop relocation guidelines for Solomon Islands. The project has been designed to ensure these guidelines will:

  • Respond to the priorities identified by the Advisory Committee and stakeholders;
  • Be informed by experiences with planned relocations in Solomon Islands, elsewhere in the Pacific, and globally;
  • Be shaped by the widest possible consultations that available resources will allow, including with communities, and provincial and national-level stakeholders to ensure the results of the work will be widely communicated and consulted on throughout the project; and
  • Have ownership by the Solomon Islands Government for the benefit of all Solomon Islanders, especially those who may need to be relocated now and in the future.

The development of relocation guidelines is a Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) policy priority to guide the process to find amicable solutions for communities that are facing ongoing challenges because of climate change and other disasters in their islands of origin.

The Advisory Committee will ensure that the national consultations are conducted in a transparent manner where the rights and dignity of relocated persons are respected. The consultations will ensure that all due processes are fair and sensitive to the cultures of the Solomon Islands, and the needs of the people and the Government.

An article published by the Government of the Solomon Islands on this project can be found here.