KIBCA in New Zealand

KIBCA Coordinator, Ferguson Vaghi, attended the Pacific Forestry Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. It was a good event to open up doors for KIBCA through meeting other organisations and conservation experts. It was also a chance to visit Rangitoto National Parks in NZ and Lamington National Park in Queensland and meet WWF Australian and the National Parks Association Queensland. It was a very productive visit because many things can be used on Kolombangara.

Ferguson Vaghi Biography:
Ferguson Vaghi is the Coordinator of KIBCA, Kolombangara Island Biodiversity Conservation Association. Ferguson has worked for KIBCA since its establishment in October 2008. Ferguson has a strong background in forestry, GIS mapping and technical drawing. He previously worked for KFPL most recently as project manager of a sustainable forestry operation. Ferguson is an Indigenous Kolombangaran and comes from Ghatere Village. Ferguson is passionate about the role of Indigenous people in conserving the unique forests of Kolombangara Island.

The paper describes how a unique partnership between a conservation NGO and a forest plantation company on Kolombangara Island, Solomon Islands, benefits both conservation and business. KIBCA, a Kolombangara Island landholders’ representative organisation and conservation association, has been supported since its formation in 2008 by KFPL, an FSC certified forest plantation company.

The close partnership has resulted in many benefits to both organisations. KIBCA benefits from access to KFPL’s infrastructure and staff, a direct involvement in managing the land outside the plantation estate and an income stream from tourists. KFPL benefits by demonstrating real commitment to conservation required as part of its FSC certification, gains active assistance with managing its conservation area and tourist visits, and benefits from KIBCA’s scientific research program. The arrangement provides a way for landholders, long alienated from their traditional lands, to re-establish a management role.

The key ingredients to this success has been strong support from senior management, taking each step slowly, building a relationship of trust and looking to the long-term benefits. This model has potential for application where forestry companies wish to develop strong and positive relations with landowners.