Cutting down tropical timber has consequences
Most of the people in the Solomon Islands work in agriculture. They grow products in order to process and eat them themselves, but there are also products for export. The inhabitants of the Solomon Islands primarily plant coconuts, cassava, sweet potatoes, rice and bananas for their own needs.
Copra and palm oil are important for export, as well as cocoa and fish. Tropical wood has a large share of exports, because the Solomon Islands are very forested. But the cultivation and especially the degradation of the wood is not sustainable. So nothing new is planted and no careful approach is taken. So nature does not manage to recover quickly.
It is therefore foreseeable that at some point the forest will continue to shrink and not only that. The trees can no longer consolidate the soil and the result is soil erosion. In the production of palm oil, too, little attention is paid to sustainable cultivation. Large monocultures have emerged here, so only one specific product is grown. This is not good for the soils in the long run.
The Solomon Islands have gold, silver, copper, phosphate and zinc deposits, so they are rich in minerals. But only a small part of it is funded. The often politically unstable situation (see Politics and History) does not exactly invite investors to invest money in the promotion. Industry is also still poorly developed. The industry processes wood, fish – especially tuna – and the palm oil already mentioned. Then there’s a little bit of mining. However, it is expected that the revenues from mining will increase over time.
And how does it go on?
At the turn of the millennium, due to the internal unrest in the country, the economy was badly affected because many important companies that brought money into the country (investors) had to close. In the meantime the economy has recovered a bit, but the Solomon Islands are still one of the poor countries in the world. The infrastructure, such as the traffic routes, is poorly developed. Medical care is poor, as is the supply of drinking water or electricity.
There are also great differences between town and country. Many products have to be imported from abroad, especially from the USA, Japan, India and China as well as Singapore. This includes food, vehicles, petrol, but also machines.
Due to the beautiful landscape and the fascinating diving areas, the islands could attract many tourists. But this is not yet the case. How many will choose the Solomon Islands as a travel destination in the future and whether the numbers will increase depends primarily on the political situation in the country. If this is stable, tourism could play a more important role in the economy in the longer term.
How do people live and live in the Solomon Islands?
On the following pictures you can see how the people in the Solomon Islands live, mostly under simple conditions. They feed on what they grow themselves and often live in huts on stilts so the sea doesn’t wash away the house.
Children and School
Do the children in the Solomon Islands also go to school?
There is no compulsory schooling in the Solomon Islands, a country in Oceania defined by directoryaah. The consequence of this is that some of the girls and boys, but also of the adults, cannot read and write. In order to learn a profession later, reading and writing are of course important requirements that are then missing.
Six years of elementary school
Those who go to school, around every third child, go to elementary school for six years. There are around 50 secondary schools in the Solomon Islands that can be attended afterwards. These are spread over the many islands, which are quite far apart. In order to attend secondary school, children must take an entrance exam. There is also an offshoot of the University of the South Pacific, which is headquartered in the Fiji Islands.
Many children live in the village
Many children still live in remote villages and simple village communities. They help their parents with work and, like other children, love to play as much as possible. This is how they meet their friends after school. Most of the time they are outdoors, because there is no winter like ours.
But many children are also very poor because their parents are poor. In addition, there are often the consequences of floods and / or cyclones. Then what has been destroyed has to be cleaned up again. That can hit a family very hard.
The tide came
The climate change also changes the Solomon Islands. The sea water eats its way further and further into the land and takes it. Many people feel left alone because they are bathing in what others – especially the industrialized nations – are responsible for. There are always tidal waves and hurricanes. In 2014 there was a great flood in the Solomon Islands that destroyed a lot. Some people also lost their lives.
Here is a trailer for a film called “After the Flood” that shows how difficult life is for people when the flood inundates their country. Many Pacific islands as well as the Solomon Islands are exposed to these dangers. People have to flee and try to somehow survive.