Greener future with better soil management

By Vatapuia Maiava 14 August 2016, 12:00AM

A project under the ‘Strengthening Multi-Sectoral Management of Critical Landscapes’ (S.M.S.M.C.L.) presented their soils survey findings on Friday. 

A series of field exercises were completed under the guide of the United Nation Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.) leading to the availability of a new up-to date soil management conservation manual.

This manual will help improve agriculture in a more sustainable way.

“The project for S.M.S.M.C.L. in Samoa is a government of Samoa and U.N.D.P. project administered through the M.N.R.E,” said M.N.R.E’s acting C.E.O. Filisita Heather.

“The projects overall objectives are to strengthen and increase the capacities of the different national land development sectors.

“We aim to work together in a more integrated and coherent way at pressing land degradation and soil conservation in the country.”

According to Ms. Heather, the project’s target group lies in both the Macro and Micro level illustrating how necessary such a manual is for Samoa.

“We aim to develop the means to achieve the culture of sustainable land management practices both at a macro and a national level of management policy and planning process as well as the micro level of land use technologies and practices,” she said.

“Through the S.M.S.C.L. project, it is expected that 62,730 hectares of agriculture and forests land will have improved soil and water conservation as well as management practices.

“This will include at least 18,000 hectares cultivated with ecologically sustainable traditional practices which will be elaborated by the soil specialists in the presentation.”

Ms. Heather continued to acknowledge the leadership role that the University of the South Pacific took in the project.

“Consultancy services at U.S.P. were selected to lead the development of this manual and how the manual will accompany the support local famers sustainably practices which will target villages,” she said.

“The scope of the work of the soil consultants Professor Umar and professor Tulin and the scientists at U.S.P. included assessing existing soil management and conservation in Samoa.

“They consulted with local communities to get their feedback and input on the challenges relating to sustainable land practices and finally developing a soil management and soil conservation manual.

“This soil conservation and management manual will be the latest and most up-to date, all the while encompassing reports regarding the soil types and license for all the Samoans from Savaii, Apolima, Manono and Upolu.”

The manual is still in its final stages and will be available for all at the end of the year.

“The Manual is also expected to include an overview of the current land management practices which is a summary of the most suitable land management practices for the agriculture forestry and water resources in Samoa,” Ms. Heather said.

“So from this manual, the most important information will be extracted and developed into an easily accessible manner and translated in Samoan to be presented to the local community.

“The draft will be presented today for review and recommendation which will be incorporated into the final manual report at the end of the year.”

By Vatapuia Maiava 14 August 2016, 12:00AM

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