A group photo at JCC-4. Photo credit @ SIMA & JICA Joint Press Release

JAPAN and Solomon Islands approved a plan on 7 February to produce electronic navigational charts (ENCs), which will contribute to navigation safety and the Solomon Islands’ economic development. Production of ENCs will start early next month.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMA) jointly conducted hydrographic surveys in Honiara and Noro Ports in 2022 and 2023, using state-of-the-art technology to produce precise and quality ENCs. Based on the survey results, precise ENCs will be produced this year and will be available to mariners in 2026.

Two new ENCs, Noro Port (large scale) and Munda Bar, will be produced for the first time. They are expected to support the planned development of Noro Port and the safe navigation of domestic ships, fishing boats and small boats in Munda Bar and Diamond narrows area. These activities are being carried out under JICA’s “Project to Support the Development of Electronic Charts for Honiara and Noro Ports in the Solomon Islands,” (the Project) which began in 2022.

Areas of new ENCs for Noro port and Munda bar. Photo credit @ SIMA & JICA Joint Press Release

The ENCs will be produced in collaboration with the Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO), the Primary Charting Authority (PCA) for Solomon Islands. The support of AHO is therefore critical to the success of the Project and is underpinned by genuine collaboration between AHO and SIMA providing a robust framework for JICA, SIMA, and AHO to produce ENCs within the project timeframe.

Mr. Takeshi Watanabe, the representative of JICA in Solomon Islands, said, “ENCs contribute to safe and efficient navigation of merchant vessels and are widely used. They play a key role in digitalized present-day navigation. In the Project, JICA is trying to contribute to the safety of navigation and the economic development of Solomon
Islands. So far, precise hydrographic data has been collected for the project, and we are convinced that high-quality ENCs will be produced by the end of 2025. It should be emphasized that two new ENCs will be produced for the first time for Noro Port and Munda Bar, which will greatly impact Noro port development and safe and efficient navigation in the archipelago of Munda Bar.”

Hydrographic survey results of Honiara port (bird’s-eye view from the northeast). Photo credit @ SIMA & JICA Joint Press Release

Mr. Thierry Nervale, Director SIMA emphasized the impact of such a project for the safety of communities and the protection of the environment in the areas. “Building capacity in Solomon Islands to produce ENCs is the foundation to offer e-navigation for all. In the future anyone in Solomon Islands waters will be connected and will be able to access real-time maritime safety information and safely navigate between islands. The future is technology, we value our partnership with JICA and the transfer of expertise and technology to SIMA.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here