HONIARA – The registration of the Tina Community Benefit Share Fund (CBSF) is on track, following a one-day consultation and the appointment of an interim-committee in mid-February 2023.
CBSF is one of the obligations of the national government to be rolled out through the pilot Community Benefits Sharing Project (CBSP) for the host communities of the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP).
The CBSF is an innovative approach to benefit-sharing that will ensure that stream of benefits can flow to the host communities through revenue generated by the sale of electricity from the hydro power facility. It will continue to provide the benefits to the project host communities for the lifetime of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the Developer, Tina Hydro Limited (THL) and Solomon Power (SP) and may also continue after this period.
According to Fred Conning, the Deputy Project Manager of TRHDP, “The CBSF is an idea that came about after many consultations with the host communities, SIG, THL, SP & donor partners. The idea was then factored into the financial model for the Tina Hydro Project before it was captured into the project implementation and Power Purchase Agreement. With Hydro Projects, the project will remain with the host communities for a long time, so it is important that the benefit share arrangement is well structured.”
The consultation last week provided an open platform and the opportunity for members of the host community to provide their opinion on the constitution of the CBSF. Apart from the consultation, the drafting of institutional arrangements and operating procedures for the CBSF, establishment and operationalization of the fund, are also progressing.
Francis Kapini, CBSP Coordinator said, “During the recent consultation, we reviewed the CBS Fund constitution clause by clause and the feedback was overwhelming. The constitution is just one of the documents that was prepared as inputs into the process of registration of the fund.”
“Another important document is the operations manual, which will be examined in our next consultation. The operations manual is an important document as it will provide guidance on the overall management of the CBSF.”
He added, the fund will have a trustee of five people – four from the host communities (as representatives of the communities of Bahomea and Malango) and one from THL. An office will be established to govern and manage the day-to-day operations of the CBS Fund.
“That aspect of governance and administration will also be covered in the next consultation,” said Mr Kapini.
The CBS Fund is expected to be registered by the end of February 2023. -ENDS//