Wai-Hau plays big role in Are-Kwa region of Malaita
THE Wai-Hau Conservation Foundation is taking the lead in the Are-Kwa region (Are’are and Kwaio) of Malaita province doing tireless work to spread the concept of conservation to other parts in the region.
Chairman of Wai-Hau Conservation Foundation, Mr Max Totorea said their good work has resulted in three newly established protected sites in the area.
He said their work is mostly on awareness, letting people know about the importance of protecting their bio-diversity.
Mr Totorea said so far, BD Guide conservation site in West Kwaio, Kwaenasi in East Kwaio, one in the highlands of Are’are and many more interested sites in the region are coming as the result of their work.
He said other two protected sites in Are’are like, Hahorarumu protected area and Taka-Taka Eco Village are also part of the whole concept as they are working towards the same goal in their work.
Mr Totorea said they provide awareness to the people during gatherings such as church gatherings, cultural gatherings and other occasions in the area.
He said the idea is to inform people on how precious and important their resources are and how they should sustainably use them for continuous benefit of both the people and the resources or the biodiversity.
“But it’s quite challenging to us. We meet lots of encounters as it seems conservation is a new concept to the people, knowing very less about it.
“One big challenge face was to contest with logging. Because logging is rife in the southern region of Malaita Province.
“And to change the mindset of the people for conservation when they see no money there is a hard something for us to do.
“Because people expect money today just as what logging did and not like conservation when there is very less money,” Mr Totorea said.
He said people only tend to look on money overlooking the importance of the resource or the bio-diversity held by the land and the sea.
Mr Totorea said this is the biggest problem faced.
He said despite all these challenges, they will continue with the work.
Mr Totorea said they work on voluntary basis and are also willing to help interested landowners.