9 Oct 2013

NGO in Solomons says eco-tourism promotes working together

6:22 am on 9 October 2013

In Solomon Islands, the Guadalcanal Provincial Council of Women says groups and tribes work well together as a result of eco-tourism and it avoids jealousy, as well as stems the urban drift.

The president of the council, Mary Bollen, was part of a eco-tourism training programme, and has been visiting villages to educate them on the benefits of eco-tourism.

She says establishing eco-tourism all around Guadalcanal would bring peace and prosperity as groups can share in the benefits, and will create jobs for school leavers and tertiary students.

Mary Bollen says one village had been just about to sign a mining agreement, until they learnt they could make money through eco-tourism instead.

"It helps to see that mining is not really a good thing, it destroys their environement and wildlife and rivers, so they were so grateful. Now they are so excited, and they continue to clean up their village and environment and want to do a homestay."

Mary Bollen says she believes eco-tourism has the power to change the lives of the people of Guadalcanal.