"Healthy environment, healthy people."
That’s the theme of this year’s National Environment Week which kicked off yesterday with a parade on Beach Road.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi noted that this is the 27th year since Samoa has commemorated this very important week.
“The environment is our gift from God,” he said. “And we are the caretaker of the environment. Therefore, it is our responsibility to look after the environment and maintain God’s gift to us.”
When it comes to looking after the environment, Tuilaepa emphasised that everyone has a role to play.
“This means that it is our job as a nation to take care of our environment for our future generation.”
The message was well received by Marist School student, Elrod Leung Wai, who was among hundreds of students at the parade.
“This week is very important because it reminds us that we have to keep our environment clean and healthy,” he said.
“We have to keep it clean by making sure that we don’t litter. That shows other people from other countries that we love our environment.
“This is also another way to attract tourists.”
Mr. Leung Wai said that his class is involved in a project to clean up as part of this week’s celebration.
The National Environment Week is to promote environment conservation and bring into the national forum important environmental issues for wider public awareness.
The commemoration started with a National Clean Up Programme on Saturday with village and business communities, schools, development partners and M.N.R.E staff.
This was followed by a Special Sunday Service at the Methodist Church, Matafele led by Reverend Faulalo Leti.
Yesterday’s programme included the parade and the launch the Fagali’i P3D Model, Watershed Management Plans for Tapueleele and Sapunaoa and Waste Management Billboard.
For the rest of the week, the Ministry invites the Public to take part in this year's educational and promotional programmes, as well as targeted and multi-sectoral issue based dialogues such as:
• The National Environment Exhibition will be opened to the Public on Tuesday 01 November till Friday 04 November 2016. Informative and creative displays will include those from M.N.R.E. and partners such as F.E.S.A., S.W.A., E.P.C., Vailima Breweries (wastewater), M.O.H., J.I.C.A., P.A.S., S.P.R.E.P., N.U.S., Conservation International, C.S.S.P. and community based project interventions from Fagalii and Faleaseela.
• Wednesday 02 November will be the Climate Change and Disaster Joint Platform 2016 on the theme ‘Be prepared to be spared’.
Discussions will revolve around mainstreaming disaster risk management and climate change adaptation - the Samoan Way. The platform will be held at T.A.T.T.E. Convention Centre from 8.30am to 4pm.
• A parallel program on First Aid Competition for communities will be held at the Malaefatu Park from 9am to 12.30pm.
• The 3rd Annual Review of the Sector will be held on Thursday 03 November 2016 at the T.A.T.T.E. Convention Centre from 9am to 3pm.
• The M.N.R.E. upgraded Website will be launched on the same day at 12pm at the T.A.T.T.E. Convention Centre.
• The National Environment Partners Dialogue in its second year will focus on the issue of Waste Management in Samoa.
'Waste is Everyone's Responsibility' is the theme for the dialogue looking specifically at 'waste minimization' through composting. It is a half day program, starting at 9am and finish at 12.30pm.
Finally, the National Environment Week 2016 will conclude with the National Environment Awards Gala to honor and recognise the contributions of exceptional individuals, groups, schools and businesses in the protection and conservation of Samoa's Environment and Natural Resources.
The final program includes a special tribute in memory of M.N.R.E. Staff who have passed on while serving the People of Samoa through the Ministry.