Spirulina Cultivation to promote Marine Habitat Conservation in the Solomon Islands (SB7)
Solomon Islands: Guadalcanal - Ginger Beach Retreat, near Honiara.
EnerGaia aims to work with local communities, non-governmental organisations and governments to help people achieve better health, incomes and environmental outcomes, and to initiate alternative livelihood development in coastal fishing communities by piloting market-based solutions for marine conservation in the Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands face several pressing environmental challenges, including uncertain food security; lack of alternatives to fisheries as a source of income and protein for local communities; and lack of sustainable management of marine habitats that people and wildlife – including dugongs – depend on.
By introducing sustainable spirulina farming, this project led by EnerGaia aims to support 300–500 micro-entrepreneur farmers over five years by providing an income source and an opportunity to integrate excess spirulina into their local diet to improve nutrition intake. By adding a new protein source to local diets, EnerGaia’s aims to relieve the pressure on local natural resources – particularly marine resources which form the mainstay of local diets.
Spirulina is a high-energy, high-nutrition food source that is used as a diet supplement or eaten fresh as a rich source of protein. The majority of the spirulina produced in the Solomon Islands will be for export to Australia, where it is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient in healthy, sustainable food products. Although the domestic market for spirulina products in the Solomon Islands is today negligible (or even non-existent) a modest potential market for fresh and dry spirulina among hospitality outlets in Honiara has been identified.
SB7 also aims to promote environmental sustainability through direct action and partnerships with local NGOs to teach and enforce the regulations of Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA), including preventing the use of fishing gear and practices that degrade sea grass habitats and result in dugong by-catch.
EnerGaia will donate ten percent of all net profits to local NGOs that are implementing and educating the local community in sustainable practices that preserve dugongs and their seagrass habitats, as well as supporting other marine species conservation efforts in the Solomon Islands. EnerGaia will also request that its NGO partners work with local communities to monitor marine areas of importance for seagrass and dugong conservation.
1. Empower local entrepreneur famers to cultivate spirulina for export to Australia.
2. Explore the possibility of creating a local market for spirulina in the Solomon Islands.
3. Donate 10% of all net profits to local NGOs implementing and encouraging sustainable practices that preserve dugongs and their seagrass habitats.
4. Establish partnerships with local NGOs to teach and enforce the regulations of Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMA).