Just wanted to comment on Mark Berman's article titled: "Western Province retains shares in Soltai".
Soltai can be an excellent example of dolphin safe tuna production for export, but it's definitely not a sucess story in terms of sustaining itself. There is no "continued development" for Soltai, as you inferred. It's infact a failed entity that does not perform. The government has bailed this company over the past but again it's going down the drain.
What's the benefit of a "dolphin safe tuna production for export" when an entity can't sustain itself and the people of SI tend to find it harder to afford a canned soltai tuna. Many people in rural SI are now going for a tuna known as "Waioka" because it's affordable.
Solomon Islands is at a crossroad and we need people or organizations that can walk the talk, rather than just mere "mouse wara" (talk, talk). It's a great challenge for SI to bail Soltai every now and then, when stringent dolphin advocators just bark from outside without tangible actions that can benefit ordinary S/Islanders.
Why not the Earth Island Institute seek some external funding or from their own budget and assist the SI government to rescue Soltai, as a compliment for satisfying your dolphin safe objectives?
You can talk "dolphin safe" and people in the western & developed countries follow suit easily because you have established support mechanisms where people have easy access to credit, employment, quality food & services, care, incurance and allowances even if you are unemployed or vulnerable in any sense.
In the SI we have a totally different situation, for instance, if you want people to conserve dolphins then provide alternative means of livelihood or employment......we don't buy mere talking.
I regard myself as an environmentalist as well, but there may be certain approaches that works well in other countries but may not work for SI. So be concious of that when you set an eye on SI.
WP retains shares in Soltai
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Exsley Taloiburi and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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