Dr. Graham Baines (Associate Senior Scholar)

Environment Pacific, AU/University of Bergen, NO (BPS Associate)

Dr Baines’ lifelong interest in, and commitment to, Melanesian studies, began when his adventurer father sent him, at the age of fourteen, to spend time with a professional crocodile hunter in a Papuan village.

He later studied and researched in universities in Australia, Canada and Britain before he found a niche in the Pacific islands — at the University of the South Pacific, in Fiji. Nine years in Fiji, another nine years in the Solomon Islands, and extended periods in almost all other countries and territories of the Pacific island region has given him an extensive experience in tropical island natural resource management that draws on his educational background in agricultural science, ecology and micrometerology.

Always interested in the social dimension of scientific interventions in developing countries he has long been engaged in collaborative associations with anthropologists and other social scientists. A number were post graduate students he has mentored. All have experienced the pressure of his emphasis on their applying their research skills and theoretical insights to achieve practical outcomes that benefit the communities that host them.

His research interests now are focused on Melanesian customary land and sea tenure and natural resource management and, also, on Solomon Islands ethnology, particularly as it relates to understanding of traditional artefacts, an area of investigation in which his Solomon Islander wife, Evelyn Tetehu, is active.

Research keywords: Natural resource management; development planning; customary tenure