Apple pickers from the Falealili seasonal workers (R.S.E) scheme lead the way in efforts to fight climate change and restore damaged native forests in Samoa by planting more than 250 native trees at the O le Pupu Pue National Park on Tuesday June 13.
The tree planting is part of the Carbon Offset Project initiated by the Samoa Conservation Society in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (M.N.R.E) and the Poutasi Development Trust. These RSE workers returned last week from NZ and were employed by Mr. Apple.
On May 29 a group of more than 90 seasonal workers who had worked for Johnny Appleseed in Hastings NZ planted 630 native trees, an effort acknowledged by Prime Minister of New Zealand, Leulua’iali’iotumua Bill English, as a great effort and one of many testimonies to the success of the RSE Programme in the Falealili District.
Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale, who is coordinating the seasonal workers from Falealili, says his team of seasonal workers are very proud to go green and to set an example for other large traveling groups to follow.
“We hope that our example of doing something practical to offset our carbon footprint and restore our degraded forests by planting trees will be followed by other Samoans, especially large travelling groups that may have a significant carbon footprint,” Tuatagaloa says.
Peteli Pese, representing M.N.R.E Forestry, thanked the R.S.E workers for their worthy contribution to this Carbon Offset Programme and wished them well on their future endeavours under the R.S.E Programme.
In response, Alaimoana Esau on behalf of the Group, congratulated the Ministry and the Samoa Conservation Society for such a good initiative and pledged the on-going support of the Falealili R.S.E Workers in not only planting more trees upon their return after each season but in the maintenance of the areas that have been planted.
Samoa’s Carbon Offset Project (C-Offset) was launched at the O.L.P.P NP in October 2016. Initiated by the Samoa Conservation Society in partnership with the M.N.R.E and local communities, the project helps individuals, groups and businesses to offset carbon emissions from the transport sector, with a focus on air travel.
This project supports the Samoan government’s priorities to improve environmental sustainability, mitigate climate change and improve disaster resilience while at the same time contributing to the livelihoods of our communities.
While the O.L.P.P N.P is currently the focus of Samoa’s C-Offset project, there are plans to restore other sites in the future on both Upolu and Savai’i.