About 26,000 people live in Choiseul Province, or Lauru by its local name, in the Solomon Islands. Due to its remoteness, people in Lauru depend heavily on natural resources for food and income. The area boasts the largest remaining stands of lowland rainforest and more plant and animal species than any other island in the Solomon archipelago. Its unique marine biodiversity calls for preservation – a task that the Lauru Ridges to Reefs Protected Area Network takes care of.
The Lauru Ridges to Reefs Protected Area Network is the first locally managed marine area network in Melanesia. The network helps to strengthen the ownership and responsibility of local communities. It provides them with a systematic approach and useful tools to develop their own conservation plans, so that they can create protected areas and achieve legal security over access rights.