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Biocultural approaches to developing well-being indicators in Solomon Islands

Joe McCarter, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History; Melanesia Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, Fiji
Eleanor J Sterling, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History
Stacy D Jupiter, Melanesia Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, Fiji
Georgina D Cullman, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History; Forestry, Horticulture, and Natural Resources, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Simon Albert, School of Civil Engineering, University of Queensland
Marlene Basi, West Parara, Parara Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Erin Betley, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History
David Boseto, Ecological Solutions Solomon Islands, Gizo, Solomon Islands
Evan S Bulehite, Vavanga, Kolombangara Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Ryan Harron, Biche, Gatokae Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Piokera S Holland, Ecological Solutions Solomon Islands, Gizo, Solomon Islands
Ned Horning, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History
Alec Hughes, Coastal Marine Management, Munda, Solomon Islands
Nixon Jino, Zaira, Vangunu Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Cynthia Malone, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History
Senoveva Mauli, Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership, Honiara, Solomon Islands
Bernadette Pae, West Parara, Parara Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Remmy Papae, Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership, Batuna, Solomon Islands
Ferish Rence, Vavanga, Kolombangara Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Oke Revo, Zaira, Vangunu Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Ezekiel Taqala, West Parara, Parara Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Miri Taqu, Munda, New Georgia, Western Province, Solomon Islands
Hara Woltz, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History
Christopher E Filardi, Nia Tero, Seattle, Washington, USA

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-09867-230132

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Abstract

To meet local and global aspirations toward sustainable resource management, we must first understand what success looks like. At global levels, well-being can be narrowly defined, which may clash with local values and cause adverse impacts. Melanesia is home to a complex mosaic of resource management systems, and finding locally appropriate indicators of success poses particular challenges. We propose that biocultural approaches can assist in developing grounded and appropriate well-being indicators. Biocultural approaches frame issues from the perspectives of place-based communities and work with resource users to develop desired outcomes. In doing so, biocultural approaches recognize links between people and the environment and seek to understand feedbacks between social and ecological components. Biocultural approaches may help to improve the fit between local aspirations and national or international actions and can also cocreate knowledge that draws on local knowledge and practice as well as western science. Here, we report on one such approach in Western Province, Solomon Islands, where rural communities are weighing a variety of trade-offs around the use of natural resources. The work encompasses four locations and seeks to define local needs and priorities, develop appropriate local indicators of success, assess indicator baselines, and catalyze appropriate action. Implementation challenges have included scaffolding between local and national levels and the diversity of the four locations. These have, however, been offset by the engaged nature of indicator creation, which assists communities in planning toward action around local definitions of well-being.

Key words

biocultural; indicators; monitoring and evaluation; resource management; Solomon Islands; Western Province

Copyright © 2018 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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