Name: Silverio Wale
Country: Solomon Islands
Location: Langa Langa Lagoon, Malaita Province

Silverio came from Radesifolame, in Langa Langa Lagoon, Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands. He worked on community development projects focusing on forest/land conservation, resources management and implementing sustainable livelihood enterprises as alternative income within the conservation areas. His successful enterprise projects included Warihito ngali nut oil project in Makira province, Hauta eco-tourism project, and Ranoga coconut oil project.

A strong believer in conservation, Silverio worked to instill this tenet in the coastal communities of his home of Langa Langa Lagoon, threatened by dynamite fishing and overharvesting. In 1998, 1999, and 2000, people from Langa Langa Lagoon were forced to leave Honiara due to the tension between Gaudalcanal and Malaitan’s created by these activities. During this time, Silverio, working with the Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), conducted a series of marine resource management workshops for communities who have shown interest in establishing tambu – protected – areas for resources such as clams, fish, beche de mer (sea cucumber), Ke”e and Romu for shell money. Through this awareness-raising effort, both the communities and SIDT realized the great need to combat these problems, and a plan was formulated for Langa Langa Lagoon, making it part of the Community and Coasts Programme carried out by the Foundation for the South Pacific International (FSPI) and SIDT. The Community and Coasts Programme also includes the nearby villages of Gela and Marau.

Silverio was previously Conservation Manager for Central Bauro Conservation Programme in Makira Prvince Solomon Islands, a joint effort between Conservation International US, Maruia Society, New Zealand, and SIDT. Later, he was Policy and Advocacy/Sustainable Livelihood Coordinator of the World Wide Fund for Nature and Conservancy Solomon Islands. He also served as Coordinator for the Community and Coasts Programme, and as the in-county LMMA Network Coordinator for Solomon Islands. He works to foster successful community participation in marine conservation activities and to increase the number tambu areas in the Solomon Islands.

Silverio was on the frontline of marine conservation and resource management work in Solomon Islands. His contributions to FSPI coastal programme and SILMMA network were huge. He died in March 2011 after a long battle with diabetes, and is survived by his wife and 3 children. May his soul rest in peace.
Photo by Toni Parras