Tree planting strengthens partnerships

Restoration of degraded land and strengthening partnerships was the aim of the tree planting activity that took place at Alafua Uta recently. 

This was done under the Strengthening Multi Sectoral Management of Critical Landscapes project (S.M.S.M.C.L) funded by Global Environment Facilities (G.E.F) of United Nations Development Program (U.N.D.P) through Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E). 

SMSMCL technical advisor of media and communication, Gardenia Elisaia-Morrison, said the focus behind the activity is to replant native trees along the riverbank to stop the degrading of land through soil erosion.

 “We brought approximately 300 seedlings with the help of MNRE forestry division, where the community will lead the initiative by replanting the riverbank side.

“When it floods, the road gets cut off, and they have no access to their homes and so they learnt from our community based trainings the need to grow trees to withstand and stop soil erosion,” she said.

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SMSMCL project identified 126 villages through the development of the program that are eligible for the restoration of their degraded land.

 This makes up 126 villages from areas of Aleipata to Fagaloa, Alafua, Magiagi, Apolima and Manono to Falelatai Faleseela, Itu o Tane to Asau and a bit of Salega. 

“There are different needs and requirements based on the landscapes and based on priorities of the villages. 

“So we go according to the village’s priority that’s needed to restore their landscape, upscale their communities and especially in areas of sustainable agriculture,” she added. 

According to project manager, Suemalo Tumutalie Foliga, the project commenced in 2013 and was supposed to end this year but was extended until April 2020.

 “Most of the factors affecting our environment are because of the many projects on the everyday basis including village projects without the knowledge that it is affecting our landscapes, soil and catchment areas” 

“So the project looks at ways to prevent any further damage to the environment already done for the betterment of the future,” said Mr. Foliga.

SMSMSCL embarked on a tree planting exercise last week at Gagaifo Lefaga, Aufaga and Sinamoga before the end of this year. 

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