The Solomon Star reported last week that villagers in the Solomon Islands had slaughtered 1,000 dolphins after the Earth Island Institute (EII) failed to keep the terms of their agreement with the villagers.
EII is a Berkeley-based foundation focused on conservation efforts. According to the group’s 990 filings, it has contributed to leftist groups including the Sierra Club Foundation, Tides Center, and Rainforest Action Network. It has also given $130,336 to the Center For American Progress.
Community organizer Atkin Fakaia told the Solomon Star that the Solomon Islanders had no choice but to revert back to their traditional practice of hunting dolphins when EII failed to honor its original pledge and cut funding to the village.
“In the MOU, EII promised to give us $2.4 million, but they only gave us $700, 000. They go back to hunting dolphin in order to sell the dolphin teeth and meat to earn money,” Fakaia said.
The EII’s International Marine Mammal Project reached an agreement in May 2010 with the Fanalei and Walande villages to provide them with funding in exchange for the discontinuance of dolphin hunting.
The two-year project was up for renewal in April 2012.
The associate director of EII’s International Marine Mammal Project, Mark Berman, claimed the relationship dissolved because the projected had been “hijacked” and the funds were being misappropriated.
The New Zealand Herald reports that EII’s regional director of the Solomon Islands, Lawrence Makili, does not plan to negotiate additional project funding with the village that could potentially save the lives of hundreds of dolphins.