SWoCK Project Backyard Organic farming in the Langalanga Lagoon

Name of case study

 SWoCK Project Backyard Organic farming in the Langalanga Lagoon

Location

  •  Langalanga Lagoon
  • Solomon Islands

Year

2011

Scale

Suburb/neighbourhood scale

Area / size

Small gardens ~10m2

NbS employed

Edible home gardens

Type of NbS

Combination; Management / social / political; Hybrid living/engineered interventions

Initiator

Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Solomon Islands Government).

Funder

UN Development Programme

Budget

Unclear for this outcome. Wider SWoCK project funded USD 5,610,000 in 2011, but included numerous other outcomes (Bujan & Sura, 2016).

Design group

Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Solomon Islands Government) with external support.

A woman weeds her small agricultural plot in Solomon Islands. Image by Jan Van Der Ploeg via Flickr
Climate change benefits
  • Changes in rainfall
  • Coastal inundation 
  • Coastal salt-water intrusion into aquifers
  • Drought
  • Loss of food production
  • Reduced soil quality
  • Sea level rise 
  • Reduced freshwater availability
Societal / socio-cultural benefits
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Economic and social development
  • Food security and quality
  • Pressures of urbanization (waste management, hygiene, etc.)
  • Water security and quality
Ecological benefits
  • Decomposition
  • Disturbance prevention (erosion, storm damage, flooding etc.)
  • Education and knowledge
  • Food production (for humans)
  • Fresh water
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Soil building

Summary of case study

This UNDP supported project in Solomon Islands, Strongem Waka lo Community fo Kaikai (SWoCK) worked with communities in Solomon Islands, establishing 50 gardens in targeted communities to address climate driven pressures on local food production in home gardens (UNDP Climate, 2016).

Langalanga people live on artificial islands and low-lying coastal areas less than one meter above sea level in many places, and the effects of climate change are already causing reductions in land suitable for growing crops (UNDP Climate, 2015). Through a participatory discussion and decision-making process, the project sought to understand the challenges faced by local people and develop interventions. Challenges included lack of available fresh water, and limited rainwater collection infrastructure, lack of land ownership, increased population, lack of soil fertility, limited construction material and land space availability due to the community’s coastal location, and saltwater intrusion caused by sea level rise.

The project provided several adaptation measures to climate change to local people, foremost providing tools and training for backyard ‘home gardening’ and utilisation of modern mapping to measure and interpret sea level rise (United Nations Development Programme, 2014). Techniques taught include productive small space gardening and raised bed gardening. The project provided materials to gardeners, including compost to improve soil fertility, installed water tanks to improve water catchment and storage abilities, and provided material to expand animal husbandry (UNDP Climate, 2015)

Engaging facilitators with an understanding of local people, their language and context was important to the success of the project, which enhanced livelihoods for its participants, alongside generating an expanded range of livelihood activities, and generated new supplementary income opportunities. Participants reported improved food security, more balanced diets, improved gender outcomes (women could participate more freely in collaborative tasks, and take produce to market) and felt confident after training to resolve soil quality issues (Bujan & Sura, 2016).

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References
  • Bujan, J. A. C., & Sura, T. (2016). Terminal evaluation report strongem waka lo community fo kaikai (SWoCK): Resilience in agriculture and food security in the Solomon Islands. https://fifspubprd.azureedge.net/afdocuments/project/47/47_TE_PIMS_4451_FinalEvaluationReport_22102016.pdf
  • UNDP Climate (Director). (2015, November 27). SWoCK Project Backyard Organic farming in the Langalanga Lagoon [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/grAz2T0g-fs?si=nIRBpruWhaL9h4uX
  • UNDP Climate (Director). (2016, August 23). Climate-resilient farming in the Solomon Islands [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/Tv-NLwAQ6vY?si=efBHHaI6NIE0d5fn
  • United Nations Development Programme. (2014, August 9). Sea-level rise mapping: An eye-opener for a Solomon Islands community. UNDP. https://stories.undp.org/af-solomon-islands

Further resources:

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