7 – 9 July 2010
The only chance we had during this entire expedition to visit a forest was here in the Pacific. A forest, you might ask? What has that got to do with the Coral Triangle? With marine life? Nature, from the highest forest to the deepest sea has deep links to each other. There is an interconnectedness in nature that, if left alone, results in perfect harmony. Rains fall, sun shines, waters flow, birds fly, insects thrive, trees grow, rivers flow, corals spawn, fish swim and so on and on. BUT once the cycle, this interconnectivity is broken, when the forest is barren, mountains erode. Rains cause floods as no roots are there to suck in the water. Rivers silt up causing corals to suffocate. And where there are no coral reefs, there will be no fish as they will have no place to live.
And here in the equatorial region of the Coral Triangle where there is a lot of sunshine, warmth and rain, the reef and rainforest are at its most diverse. We visited a virgin forest in Mt. Rano staying in the new forest lodge called Imbu Rano. It is high up in the clouds (with Imbu meaning mist or fog) at 380 meters above sea level in Kolombangara, Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Kolombangara, roughly meaning “Water Lord”, is a crater mountain that peaks at 1,770 meters with 80 rivers and streams running through it.