Everything is Connected
“When I was just married into this family a strong wind blew down all the houses in our area. Our own home was blown down too,” remembers Alison, a mother of six from Malaita in the Solomon Islands. “We escaped with only the clothes on our back.”
Everything is connected. No one knows that better than Alison.
Her country – made up of hundreds of islands in the South Pacific – is a microcosm for climate change. Increasingly ferocious winds and rains have wrecked the mangroves that always acted as a natural buffer for the islands. Now the cyclones and sea water make their way inland uninhibited, flattening homes and killing the garden crops that so many Solomon Islanders rely on for food and money.
It's an existential threat for Alison, her children, and the future of their country - one that short term help like food aid won’t solve. “I do not want my children to have to experience this again. I want to protect them from that.”
Alison is part of a group of women and young people training to keep bees.
Bees love mangroves, which provide a perfect haven. In turn, they pollinate the mangroves, helping them grow. The mangroves then protect the islands – along with wildlife and food sources like fish and crabs - from storms and high tides. They even store carbon deposits that don’t make their way into the atmosphere, effectively slowing climate change globally.
And all the while, the bees produce sweet honey for community farmers to sell.
“With honeybee training I know if I do it well, I am able to earn money for my family,” says Alison. “For 1 kilo it is $200, and I can produce up to $4,000, so I am like "Wow".” With that money, Alison can pay for her children’s school fees, giving them opportunities to thrive. She can make sure they’re well fed too – even when heavy rain inevitably affects her garden in future.
We can’t stop climate change. But by thinking differently, and making connections like these, we can help families adapt and stay safe through the storms ahead.
Country: Solomon Islands
Topic: Natural Habitats
Photo or video credit: Conor Ashleigh/Save the Children
Text Credit: Josephine and Lucy
Date : 1 April 2023