Solomon Islands by Dan Lin

Solomon Islands. Image by Daniel Lin.


UN Ocean Conference Official Side Event: Tok Stori on Indigenous Ocean Guardianship

July 01, 2022


UN Ocean Conference Official Side Event: Tok Stori on Indigenous Ocean Guardianship

Date: 1 July 2022

Time: 17:00 - 19:00 West

Location: Pavilhão do Conhecimento (Pavilion of Knowledge), Lisboa, Portugal


  • Tok Stori Moderator: Taholo Kami (Government of Tonga)
  • Speakers:
    • Hon. Jerry Manele (Minister of Foreign Affairs & External Trade, Solomon Islands Government)
    • Dr. Melchior Mataki (Solomon Islands Government)
    • Lysa Wini (Solomon Islands Representative, Nia Tero)

Key Event Objectives:

This side event will be carried out through the ‘Tok stori’ approach. Tok stori is a Melanesian term for what Solomon Islanders do everyday – telling stories, weaving a joint narrative, and creating meaning. A critical aspect of Tok stori is the creation maintenance of relationships. As such, the Tok stori provides opportunity for Solomon Islands, a sovereign Indigenous state to:

  • Share experiences on the process of developing the National ocean policy and marine spatial plan
  • Elevate the importance of Indigenous values in ocean governance
  • Create relationships and build meaning with partners willing to work towards the Indigenous guardianship of the Pacific Ocean.


Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships, and solutions.”

Pacific Islanders have been guardians of their islands, atolls, and ocean since time immemorial – we are nations of islands, but even more nations of oceanic peoples. For nearly all of human history, we have occupied the waters and our daily interaction with the ocean has shaped our way of life, practices, and perspectives on existence itself.

While UNCLOS created the notion of the 200 nm EEZ, this is not the whole of the Ocean that Pacific Islanders know, feel, and are a part of. WE understand that guardianship of the ocean for the good of the planet must transcend simple jurisdictional models and expand both into the lived space of the coasts and reefs as well as the spaces out to and beyond the EEZ. This whole ocean vision is true to the nature of the ocean we know and no less than what the world needs now.

Solomon Islands is working with seafaring communities and government to reconnect islands and reclaim the ocean beyond 12nm and EEZ through its marines spatial planning program. Recognizing that it will lead to strengthening the cultural relationship to the ocean, which is still strong, and the protection and management of the marine resources as part of the responsibility of Solomon Islanders. By engaging with Indigenous guardianship inshore, offshore, and in high-seas, more than 30% of oceans protection and management can be achieved.

This event is hosted by the Solomon Islands Government and Nia Tero.


Policy, Pasifik