Visions of sitting with my head in the clouds... well thats my first impression of Imbu Rano Lodge built at an elevation of 380 meters, and looking towards the crater of Mt Rano on Kolombangara Island. Even its name, which was chosen from a marvellous selection of entrants in a local competition, means 'the mist' which greets you on the porch first thing in the morning. Along with the peace of the natural forest is the chorus of crickets, cicadas, frogs and song birds including endemic species such as the Golden Whistler and the Kolombangara White Eye. A very special resident to the area is the Pale Mountain Pigeon .
The development of the lodge and protection of the area is a joint effort from Dr Chris Filadi of the American Museum of Natural History and many contributors including Simon Legassic who is General Manager of KFPL ( Kolombangara Forestry Products Limited), Tim Bula also of KFPL, and local NGO groups aiming for the conservation of this great biodiversity .
Guests enjoy the cooler day and night time temperatures of low 20's C making this a fantastic starting point for short and longer walks down into the crater or up to the peak. 3 wardens have been trained to look after guests and show them around the forest, or for those less able, relax on the expansive deck and watch nature and its ever changing parade.
Although they aren't natives of Kolombangara, 3 very keen men from Malaita , who have been working on forestry projects in the area have bee trained to look after the lodge and its guests. They are very happy to show visitors trails of varied degrees of walking difficulty and point out the habitats of some very special forest inhabitants.
This accommodation provider has taken action to address one or more issues (whether environmental, social or cultural) which will contribute positively to the long term viability of the destination and hence their site displays a Caring for the destination rating.
Main area of focus in Caring for the Destination:
The main focus of this forest lodge is in Conservation and Bio-Diversity with consideration of the rich cultural heritage of Kolombangara.
Detailed description of the Caring for the Destination Initiative:
Imbu Rano Lodge is a joint effort by a number of people compassionate about the preservation of Kolombangara's amazing biodiversity and the opportunity to use it as a scientific education centre. Some of the stakeholders include: -
-The Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership (SICCP) which was created by the American Museum of Natural History and Conservation International, working on community-based conservation solutions in the Solomon Islands using a new conservation concept called Community Conservation Agreements (CCAs). http://www.clearskyclimatesolutions.com/pdf/SICCP-description.pdf
- Kolombangara Foresty Products Limited (KFPL) are certified under the Stewart Fellowship Council and strives to sustainably manage the forests under its control and protect the remaining natural forests adjoining the plantations they manage .
- Kolombangara Island Biodiversity Conservation Association ( KIBCA) which is a newly formed NGO based in Ringi Cove, by the people of Kolombangara also concentrating on cultural heritage and protection of custom sites.
In conjunction with their conservation efforts, SICCP is currently supporting 26 local students with school scholarships.