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Strengthening women’s leadership in fisheries management in the Solomon Islands

Across the Pacific, women are responsible for as much of 50% of coastal fishing efforts but are generally excluded from fisheries management decision-making.

Recognising that sustainable management requires inclusive governance, Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) NGO WWF and local partners convened the first ever Symposium on Community Women Leaders in Coastal Fisheries Resource Management in Solomon Islands.

Over 40 women gathered to share views on coastal fisheries and resources management, and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and their families.

The event was a success, leading to a comprehensive set of recommendations for government and key partners across the fisheries sector in Solomon Islands.

These recommendations provide critical insight for government and policy groups seeking to ensure natural resource management interventions across Solomon Islands are equitable and sustainable. The recommendations highlighted the needs of women, people living with disabilities, children and other disadvantaged groups.

Participants agreed that it was essential to “ensure transparency in decision making [so that] benefit-sharing is inclusive of women and all members of the community.”

Unless special care is taken to include a diverse group of people in conversations about natural resource management and related livelihoods, those excluded from the decision-making process can find themselves living under unfair or unsustainable conditions.

Through the WWF and ANCP partnership, Solomon Islands women are building leadership and facilitation skills to ensure their voices on critical issues are heard across the coastal fisheries sector.

Women are increasingly involved in resource management groups and lead savings clubs across their communities. The positive impact of this work has ranged from increased family savings, increasingly healthier coastal marine resources along with greater participation of women in decision-making related to natural resource management.

Photo of several participants gathered under a local Solomon Islands building.
Participants at the Symposium. Credit: WWF.
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