Guardian of the people and environment
ONLY respected Solomon Islanders take up three important roles in serving the government, church and culture. One such person is Reverend Green Zino of Zaira Village in South Vangunu, Marovo Lagoon, Western Province.
After serving as a teacher and minister of the church for over five decades, he was enthroned as the tribal chief of his Dokoso Tribe in South Vangunu on Friday 27th January 2017.
His enthronement was witnessed by more than 200 men, women and children from nearby villages of Nineveh, Bopo, Seghe, Patutiva, Nazareth, Buleani and relatives from Honiara, Gizo and Munda.
A large feasting was hoisted to mark Reverend Jino’s enthronement where each and every one enjoyed.
The chiefly title Rev. Jino earned was due to his significant work in protecting the environment. He founded the Dokoso Tribal Land Conservation Association in 2010.
He sacrificed his time and effort to stop logging infiltrating his ancestral land of South Vangunu. He convinced his tribes’ men and women to value the importance of the tropical forest for their livelihood and that of their future generations.
He told a United Nations TV crew four years ago that as a chief of his tribal land and people, he resisted economically-attractive offers from loggers to sell his people’s land and future.
“Our children, our children’s children; where will they go if we destroy the land? I will never sell the land because people are important and land is important for the future,” he said.
In the UNTV documentary ‘Solomon Islands: The Wood for the Trees’ Rev. Jino said: “The land is not a thing to be sold. Doesn’t matter that we are not rich, but we have to depend on the land for the future of our generations. Where should they go if we destroy our land?”
According to UNTV, he has come up with a scheme to protect both the forest and provide people with an income from their natural resources. First step – he’s declared a part of the forest next to the village a conservation area. People can take from this part of the forest only what they need.
“Any family who need school fees, they can go to the community preservation area, choose one tree to cut and sell it to pay for their school fees to help their family.
“Just take the one that you need but don’t destroy the small ones so that you can harvest for next year and so on. So they are sustainable.”
Today Rev. Jino’s tribal land in South Vangunu is a conservation area banned from large scale logging activities.
It was this initiative in protecting the land and forest and sustaining it for the future generation that made Rev. Jino popular as a custodian of his land and people and rightly declared a tribal chief last week.
The 78 year old Rev. Jino was born on 7th December 1939 and later married Iula from Choiseul Province. Together they have eight children, 22 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
He became a primary school teacher at the age of 24 teaching in various schools in Western Province from 1968 to 1983.
He became a secondary school chaplain from 1992 to 2003 and then from 2006 to 2011. He was also the Seghe Theological Seminary Chaplain from 2004-2005.
Rev. Jino was then made Bishop of the New Georgia and Eastern Islands region of the United Church of Solomon Islands for fours from 2012 to 2015 until his retirement last year.
In his new role as a tribal chief of Dokoso Tribe, he will continue to be the guardian of his land, forest and people of South Vagunu.
For now he is spending his remaining years quietly in his own private home at Oloana Bay, the stronghold and heart of Dokoso Tribal Land Conservation Area.