First hand experience of climate change

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Moata’a mangrove walkway.

Moata’a mangrove walkway.

Climate change continues to be a great threat to coastal ecosystems, livelihoods and infrastructure of coastal communities. 

In Moata’a village, the impacts of climate change are very real. 

Earlier this week, Conservation International and the Samoa Conservation Society in partnership with the Chiefs of Moata’a, the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility and the Office of the New Zealand High Commission to Samoa, hosted a site visit for the New Zealand Government Pacific Mission 2018. 

A statement from Conservation International said the visit was to highlight the direct impacts of climate change on villagers of Moata’a due to the vulnerability of a walkway that links the coastal side of their village to the inland side. 

Among the high-level N.Z. delegation was their Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw, who saw first-hand the impact of sea level rise to the walkway through the mangrove area. 

N.Z. Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw walks across the walkway.
N.Z. Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw walks across the walkway.

Mr. Shaw reflected on the value of mangroves to buffer the impacts of flooding, and the importance of proper infrastructure to ensure resilience against sea level rise and other threats as a result of climate change. The submersion of the bridge affects access to schools, services, employment and village activities. 

Village representative and paramount Chief, Asi Tuiataga Blakelock spoke about the mangrove and impact climate change has had on their village. 

Asi also thanked Conservation International, Samoa Conservation Society and the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility, including New Zealand, for funding the construction of a new walkway for the village.

The visit demonstrated partnerships, the strength of community based management and more importantly that climate change continues to pose an increasing threat to the village of Moata’a. 

Conservation International works across the Pacific to strengthen community resilience against climate change.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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