Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Solomon Islands, People and Climate Change Hydro politics

Solomon Islands located in the Pacific Islands, is East of Papua New Guinea, North of Australia and West of Fiji, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.

The Solomon Islands are located off the coast of Papua New Guinea in the Melanesia region of the Pacific Ocean or the South Pacific as the islands and its neighbors are sometimes called. The Solomon Islands does not usually make the news. It has been a relatively peaceful island for over seventy years. As a matter of fact, the last major war in the islands took place during World War II. The capital city is Honiara. The local language contrary to popular belief is not English but a Pidgin Kreyol English called Pijin. Pijin is related to Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea and Torres Strait Creole in Australia. In addition to Pijin, hundreds of Polynesian languages are spoke on the islands.

Solomon women

As with neighbouring islands, the Solomon Islands has the reputation the world over for being laid back, beautiful island get away. It's home to 571, 171 people and over 1,000 mountainous islands. The Solomon Islanders are friendly people who are unique for being one of the few dark skin people in the world to have natural blonde hair. The blonde hair gene is indigenous to Solomon Islanders (the gene has no connection Europe) and is part of 5-15% of the population.  Even rarer are Solomon Islanders with blue eyes. The oddity is both surprised and stumped scientists, DNA specialists and geneticists who have been studying the Solomon islanders. Keep in mind that most islanders have black hair and brown eyes like most Papuans, other Melanesians and Polynesians. 

Like many other Pacific islanders, they are the descendants of the African migrants who left mainland Africa over 100,000 years ago. Hence the name Melanesia given by British and other Europeans to the islands inhabited by African/Black Pacific Islanders. Oh yes, the islanders are also the indigenous people (see Negritos in Phillipines) in their respective homeland and have preserved their cultural heritage in spite of colonialism and at times isolation in its long history. What makes the Solomon Islands interesting is that even though its close to PNG, Australia, Indonesia and is a short flight to mainland Asia, it's still considered a "mysterious" vacation spot since it's not as well known as Fiji, Bora Bora or Tuvalu. Nevertheless, Solomon islanders have good relations with their neighbours and are part of regional economic unions and trade agreements. The islands' main exports are processed wood, palm oil and coconut oil. China, Australia, UK, South Korea and Singapore.

Tomo News 5 islands in Isabel islands

Last week, the Solomon Islands did get the world's attention. Many villages and 5 islands were lost to the sea. There are seven large islands out of the 1,000 that make up Solomon archipelago. The seven islands were left in tack except for the Northern islands that lost its territory. Like the island nations of Vanuatu and Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands face being submerged under water and the islanders made homeless. It is a real threat that seems to inch closer each year as normal seasonal weather becomes more frequent and harsher than previous ones. Climate change has affected many Pacific islands mostly through the Ring of Fire natural disasters i.e. reoccurring monsoons, typhoons and earthquakes. Flooding and erosion is a serious reoccurring problem that threats millions of people living in island nations along the coast of small and large countries.

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