The preliminary findings by the Conservation International Team of scientists and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.) were presented yesterday at the M.N.R.E. Conference Room, Tatte Building.
The Rapid Biodiversity Assessment (B.I.O.R.A.P.) Survey presentations were from a series of projects done over three weeks at the Key Biodiversity Areas (K.B.A.) sites at Falealupo, Aopo and Taga in Savaii as well as Uafato and Tiavea in Upolu.
The Project on ‘Strengthening Multi-Sectoral Management of Critical Landscapes’ (S.M.S.M.C.L.) saw great findings from all the different teams.
The project aims to establish forest ecosystem and biodiversity baseline information needed for the revision and establishment of effective multi-sector conservation management plans at each of the sites.
The project also establishes the baseline information of climate impacts on forest ecosystems and species for both Upolu and Savaii
“K.B.A’s are nationally identified sites of global significance,” M.N.R.E. C.E.O. Suluimalo Amataga Penaia said.
“The identification of K.B.A’s and timely monitoring and assessment is an important approach to address biodiversity conservation at the site scale.
“Although we had in the past (2012) conducted B.I.O.R.A.P. ecological survey to some of these K.B.A’s, there is so much to cover given large area coverage of some of these K.B.A’s.”
According to Suluimalo, K.B.A’s has a big part to play in management of remaining pristine forest, critical landscapes and ecosystem in Samoa.
“It requires a good representation of ecological scientific data and information to inform our future planning and management,” he said.
“The Government through the M.N.R.E. and its S.M.S.M.C.L. project has secured and engaged the service of Conservation International Samoa which is made of a well known team of scientist.
Suluimalo is hopeful that those who undertook the survey have learnt what is needed to know for future purposes.
“In view of these future prospects of this type of survey I do hope our M.N.R.E. representatives in close collaboration with communities have learnt lessons and key survey methodologies and approaches,” he said.
“This will assist our ministry to undertake and continue basic monitoring and assessment in the future.”
Suluimalo concluded with a word of thanks for all those who helped out with the project.
“I wish to thank the conservation International Office especially our team of scientists who have committed their time and effort to ensure the success of our 2016 B.I.O.R.A.P,” he said.
“We acknowledge the jointly coordination efforts made by our S.M.S.M.C.L. team and communities involved through Village Mayors and councils which made this B.I.O.R.A.P. survey come to its closing stages.”
Each team presented their findings through pictures and samples gathered on the field.