Unlocking the potential of urban gardens as a local resilience strategy
As is happening to other Melanesia cities, Honiara is rapidly urbanizing due to significant rural-urban migration. This is leading to the growth of informal settlements and increasing numbers of urban poor in the city. In such urban environments, people continue to rely heavily on forest and garden crops for both subsistence and cash income. It is therefore critically important to protect the remaining productive urban and peri-urban open spaces in order to enhance local food security in the context of urbanisation and a changing climate (as well as other shocks, as Covid restrictions in 2021 all too clearly demonstrated).
In Honiara, it is predominantly women who are involved with urban and peri-urban farming, as well as the selling of produce at markets. Produce from home (sup sup) and bush gardens are therefore integral to their, and their families, sustainable livelihoods. The aim of this project was therefore to better understand the local relationships between women and their urban gardens, the daily challenges they faced, and to promote urban agriculture good practice with women’s groups in order to enhance local food security in the context of urbanisation and a changing climate.