Oversized trees and oceans on environment week agenda
Next week is Samoa's National Environment Week; it's dedicated to the theme of building resilience through sustainability but changes to tree cutting regulations and ocean policy will also be high on the agenda.
Chief Executive Officer of the event's host, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's Ulu Bismark Crawley, said the environment week aims to sustain the importance of environment and its vulnerabilities to impacts of climate change and natural disasters.
“We have to be resilient to respond to climate change and natural disasters,” he said.
He added that the week will also host many forums, some pertaining to engagement with Civil Society Organisations (C.S.O.) and non-governmental organisations and hearing about their recent work.
Some of the documents that will be launched during environment week include: Samoa’s Sixth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The National Access and Benefit Sharing Project Products; the National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan; the National Interim Report on the Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Samoa 2018; the National Waste Management Strategy 2019-2023; National Climate Change Strategy; the National Tree Management Policy; the Samoa Climate Change Information and the Knowledge Management (I.K.M.) Strategic Framework and Work Plan.
Ulu said that some of the documents that will be launched include policies around tree cutting.
“We have realised that in the event of a natural disaster, you would find that in some properties there are big trees, the policies will give the opportunity for Government to work with the community especially the land owners for safety reasons.
“Other forums will be on matters concerning the ocean. The intended ocean conference originally planned to be hosted in Chile this coming December has been cancelled because of some riots.
“The conference was greatly anticipated by other small island nations including Samoa because of the issues on oceans.”
He added that his ministry is trying to get the ocean forum to build the visibility of issues on climate change and its impacts on land and sea in the hope to discuss options to build resilience.
“There has been a big push from Government to promote the mainstream climate change and disaster management in all areas of Government whether it is transport, health, education, even community development projects.
“The 2 million tree planting programme has been an ongoing campaign and Savaii will have an opportunity for us to spread the message.”
The opening ceremony of the environment week will be held at Malaefatu Park, Sogi next week Monday.
Other programmes on the same day include the Memorandum of Understanding signing of the Management Plan for Key Biodiversity Area (K.B.A.) at Uafato-Tiavea Conservation Area.
Other activities during the week will include save the manumea competitions involving costumes, skits and posters; schools touring Strengthening Multi Sectoral Management of Critical Landscapes project also the dedication of Faleata Reserve Billboards/Signs at Faleata Reserve; and the 6th environment sector annual review and environment civil society forum.