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SOLOMON ISLANDS OBJECTIVE: The overall objective of the Global Wildlife Warriors Iniative-the Solomon Dolphin Saviors Project (hereinafter SDS Project) is to incorporate sustainability into tourism development in the Solomon Islands. Focusing on coastal tourism, this project has the long-term aim of reversing current trends of unsustainability within the tourism sector primarily due to the dolphin hunts. In practical terms this translates into a desire to build capacities to meet the following goals: * * * Promoting adequate policies for sustainable tourism development at macro and micro-economic level Defining new ways to incorporate environmental protection into tourism development Integrating and implementing new environmental managerial practices in tourism to deal with issues such as the dolphin drives, pollution and waste, developing and trialing a sustainable tourism label to strengthen the tourism sector Promoting greater awareness among the Solomon's tourism sector of international environmental standards and other environmental information; Creating an effective link between the scientific community, tourism and decision makers Supporting the administrative structure dealing with sustainable tourism development in the Solomon's and compiling and disseminating best practices in sustainable tourism development

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The project aims at tackling these various constraints by working with an array of partners, including Villagers, dive boat operators and Global Wildlife Warriors as well as a through " On-the-Ground" application of newly developed approaches.

GOALS: The project hopes to successfully develop several tools to promote the concept and implementation of sustainable tourism in the Solomon's amongst the range of stakeholders. The project aims to achieve environmental certification amongst tourism operators specifically Dive and Swim With Dolphins operators but open to all sectors of Solomon Islands tourism. Using ISO 14001 as a base and combining best practice from around the world to promote eco-friendly, sustainable tourism in the Solomon Islands. As stated by Berry (1995: 18) the development of village level tourism (ecotourism) has resulted in the breakdown of the local culture, which includes the Wantok system and the custom land system which is

one of the very important resources of the Solomon Islands. For example, the development of eco-lodges has resulted in disputes over land and marine resources from which the ventures are situated and disputes among the local community and the owners over financial benefits. Tourism resources are also the livelihood of the local people. Eco-tourist resorts however, sometimes discourage traditional use of these resources because it relies on them for its attraction to tourists. There is a contradiction between the idea of sustainable tourism and traditional activities of the local community. With these points in mind it is important to offer solutions that will benefit all sectors of the Solomon Islands community and training in and accreditation of ISO 14001 is just that. All communities and operators that wish to participate can benefit from this labeling, allowing them to promote themselves to foreign tourists as environmentally friendly, and as complying to internationally recognised standards. The establishment of a booking portal for tourists wishing to visit the Solomon Islands would assist in promoting the Islands as a destination while promoting individual attractions and community activities, all generating further revenue to be distributed to said communities. Training of dive boat operators in world best practices in Marine Mammal Watching and Swim-With Programs provides fresh revenue streams and has the potential to provide employment to local communities. Building local capacity/ alternative livelihoods would allow community development and understanding of the expectations of foreign tourists. In turn, allowing communities to develop activities that would be attractive to said tourists, as well as assisting in developing Independence for food, power and waste disposal. Examples of this would be fish farms, biogas digesters, breeding/raising domesticated farm animals and village visits/stays for tourists. N.B MARINE MAMMAL VIEWING/SWIMS REQUIREMENTS Viewing would be conducted from present boat operators and requires only training of guides and the operators on best practice marine mammal viewing, printing of guide sheets for tourists and promotion through the booking portal to generate bookings. Swimming would require some infrastructure including wet suits, masks and snorkels and dive fins as well as training and the addition of more staff to assist swimmers in the water. The initial development of swims would require a period of around 3 months minimum to accustom the animals and train the staff preferably at this time to have at least one swim aid available (an electric dive scooter) . ISO 14001 TRAINING /ACCREDITATION This would require visits to the different communities to assess where the training would be appropriate and what potential tourism is available in each. It would then require the training in ISO 14001 and assistance in implementation to those communities.

Tourism operators and resorts would be trained/accredited in-house as requested.

COMMUNITY CAPACITY BUILDING/ ALTERNATIVE LIVELIHOODS This would require visits to the different communities to assess what would be applicable to them and how to integrate different ideas into those communities. It would require infrastructure such as bio-digesters, netting for fish farms and supply of initial farm stock as well as training in expectations for village visits and stays.

Sustainable Income streams and local employment opportunities The tourism portal would take a small percentage of all bookings say 10% to be used in community development projects/ training and eventually distributed amongst participating communities. Income from Village visits/ stays would be distributed to participating villagers. Marine Mammal viewing/swimming would require the employment of local guides by the dive boat operators. Establishment of alternative livelihoods would provide income to participating villagers and reduce reliance on importing foods to those participating communities.

FINAL POINT Establishment of Marine Mammal viewing/ swimming is the hook that is a very attractive tourist activity and an incentive to make the Solomon Islands a tourist destination. It also complements other activities such as village visits/stays, in turn providing an incentive for change within the villages to become an attractive destination for tourists through better eco awareness and practices. The lasting benefits of this is of the imperative to protect animals from the alternative stream of income ie. Killing and selling dolphins

The establishment of a community ranger program to monitor environmental issues and to report on marine mammal movements allows boat operators to access animals quickly saving them time and fuel.

The ISO 14000 family addresses various aspects of environmental management. It provides practical tools for companies and organizations looking to identify and control their environmental impact and constantly improve their environmental performance. ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 14004:2004 focus on environmental management systems.