A picture is worth 1000 words.

Or is it? There is a real sense in which these two images tell a sad story of profound change over just a few years.

The aerial ‘drone’ photo (above) was taken in March 2015 of the Coconut ‘Campus’ – between Honiara city and the airport.

These buildings are nestled within the remnants of a large healthy coconut plantation that spreads southward.

The large building on the left is the newly constructed warehouse and HQ of Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI). The square roof towards the right side is the Coconut Technology Centre (CTC) just a year younger. These buildings are nestled within the remnants of a large healthy coconut plantation that spreads southward. There is also a magnificent Rain Tree near the KPSI gate off Sun Valley Road at the bottom left of the picture.


Then disaster struck. Over the next 3 years, Honiara district lost three-quarters of its coconut palms.

...most of the palms were killed by a plague of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles.

Between January 2014 and May 2018 the number of palms dropped from 13,200 to just 3,000. Some were deliberately removed for housing and industrial sites but most of the palms were killed by a plague of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles. It was a biosecurity crisis that could become a national catastrophe.

The few palms remaining look very sick.

The Niulife Foundation and the CTC started a project to gain some Salvage Value from the thousands of dead palms. The second image is a ground-level panoramic view of the Coconut 'Campus' taken from the back fence. The few palms remaining look very sick. On the left is the Craft Shed where a team carves, from salvaged coconut wood, a range of items from serving spoons and forks to tables which are sold at local markets and coconut shell bowls which are sold locally and exported. In the right foreground are the remnants of experimental charcoal pit-kilns. The CTC with its water tower is centre-left. KPSI HQ warehouse is on the right hand side.


The Salvage Project has baked thousands of palms for Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI) into over 600 bags of charcoal and yet more biochar. You can read more about this in Our Projects.

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