The growth of human populations has many direct and indirect impacts on tropical forest ecosystems both locally and globally. This is particularly true in the Solomon Islands, where coastal rainforest cover still remains, but where climate change and a growing human population is putting increasing pressure on ecosystems. This study assessed recent primary productivity changes in the Kahua region (Makira, Solomon Islands) using remote sensing data (normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI). In this area, there has been no commercial logging and there is no existing information about the state of the forests. Results indicate that primary productivity has been decreasing in recent years, and that the recent changes are more marked near villages. Multiple factors may explain the reported pattern in primary productivity. The study highlights the need to (1) assess how accurately remote sensing data-based results match field data on the ground; (2) identify the relative contribution of the climatic, socioeconomic and political drivers of such changes; and (3) evaluate how primary productivity changes affect biodiversity level, ecosystem functioning and human livelihoods.