David Envisions Sustainable Tourism Development in West Makira

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A rural resident in Asimanioha village in Western region of Makira/Ulawa province is proactively redefining the economic landscape of his community to protect their natural environment from logging threats.

As a traditional landowner, David Ali Aohai aims to conserve his community’s fragile natural environment and threating biodiversity while offering tourists an opportunity to experience the area’s natural beauty firsthand. His move comes as concerns about the harmful effects of heavy logging on the ecosystem and indigenous cultures have gained momentum in the region.

In a determined effort to combat the escalating issues of land shortage and environmental exploitation, David told TOURISM MEDIA that he is championing a paradigm shift towards tourism development as a sustainable alternative.

“My visionary ambition is an initiative that could redefine the economic landscape of his community in West Makira,” he said. “Due to the potential challenges that may arise in the coming years, I urgently want to explore alternative avenues for income generation.”

Makira/Ulawa Province, particularly in West Makira, has long been dependent on logging and agriculture, overlooking the untapped potential of tourism. David highlighted the negative effects of environmental damage caused by loggers and stressed the importance of diversifying income sources to protect the natural environment.

Asimarau beachfront located in Asimanioha village in Western region of Makira/Ulawa province.

“I see the beauty and richness of our region, not just as a local but as a potential draw for visitors seeking an authentic experience.

“My vision to showcase the natural beauty and cultural richness of our region, and more especially my rural community of Asimanioha – In the heart of Asimanioha village, a new horizon is emerging—one that holds the promise of a brighter, more sustainable development,” he explained.

David anticipated that the conserving and preserving our natural environment not only provides a haven for visitors but also as a platform to display the history of Makira/Ulawa province including fine arts, intricate carvings, and traditional cultural practices.

“My dream over the years is offer and create a unique and immersive experience for tourists and whoever is interested in seeing Makira’s traditional cultural practices.

“I sees my vision as not only a personal endeavor but also a strategy to reduce the negative impact caused by unsustainable economic development activities,” he said.

Acknowledging the need for collaboration, David called has called upon both national and provincial government leaders of West Makira region to support and integrate his ideas into their policies and initiatives.

“The backing of the national and provincial government leaders is crucial. With their support, this tourism venture could not only provide alternative income opportunities but also contribute to the conservation of our natural resources,” he said.

David’s innovative approach to promoting cultural tourism stands as a beacon of hope for sustainable development. His vision, if successful, could pave the way for similar endeavours across the region, offering a new perspective on balancing economic growth with environmental conservation.

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