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Pidgin news coverage of the Press Conference introducing the ALTIF project.

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS (March 9, 2023) — Solomon Islands and the United States, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Threshold Program, briefed media on the MCC-funded Accessing Land for Tourism Investment Facilitation (ALTIF) project on Thursday in Honiara.

The ALTIF project, which is a partnership between the Solomon Islands Government and the MCC, aims to address land access and investment facilitation issues that have prevented Solomon Islands from realizing its potential in the tourism sector. On Thursday, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Barney Sivoro, and MCC Resident Threshold Director Charles Jakosa presented ALTIF to members of the Solomon Islands media.

“There are two components to this project. First, the land access activity will help the Solomon Islands Government to identify sites capable of attracting and supporting tourism investment; second, ALTIF will help investors succeed by ensuring ‘social license’ with local communities to ensure tenure security,” Mr Jakosa said. “The project will assist communities to be partners in land usage and be included in land usage decisions. The result will promote tenure security for investors and informed expectations of benefits among local communities.”

“The second component, the investment facilitation activity, will develop a portfolio of land parcels with potential opportunities for responsible investors. It will also enhance the government’s capacity to respond to investor needs and identify potential projects that could yield the greatest benefit to Solomon Islanders by fostering local economic growth, including the expansion of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for women.”

Solomon Islands Government and the MCC Threshold Program are also partnering on the Forest Value Enhancement Projet (FoVEP), which aims to generate more reliable, sustainable benefits from the country’s natural forest resources.

More broadly, an innovative feature of the MCC partnership with the Solomon Islands Government is its use of Facilitated Governance Reform. Unlike more conventional policy approaches where positive development outcomes are expected from setting ‘best practice’ standards, Facilitated Governance Reform seeks solutions that respond to tangible, concrete problems, and outcomes that are feasible given existing local resources, capacities, adaptability, and coordination. Under this model there is a strong emphasis on identifying and undertaking the reforms that can unlock the most critical impediments to growth.

The MCC identified the Solomon Islands as a country partner in December 2018, and, due to delays caused by covid, the MCC and the Government of Solomon Islands signed the Solomon Islands Threshold Program Grant Agreement in January 2022, formalizing a partnership that aims to encourage sustainable development and alleviate poverty. The US$20 million investment works to yield economic growth in the natural resource management and tourism sectors.

Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth.

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