Measles impacts environmental group's plan

The measles state of emergency has set back plans of a Samoan-based youth environmental group, the Envirobassadors.

The Envirobassadors, who are known for their advocacy work in global warming and climate change, recently participated in the climate justice march in New Zealand this year.

The environmental group has had a more than successful year thus far, conducting various awareness campaigns including multiple village clean ups, tree and coral planting and an educational school tour in American Samoa which gave insights on how to create environmental groups.

The group, founded by young climate change activist Jorim Paul Phillips, has been placed on “standby” mode as most of their work involves large public group gatherings, which have been banned under the state of emergency.

Envirobassadors Vice President, Kier Tipama’a, says that they understand that the current measles crisis is growing and they and their members want nothing more than for the people of Samoa to get better.

“We’ve cancelled everything until the epidemic is over but we will still remain active and pray that God will protect the people of Samoa,” he said.

And with the group’s many young and vulnerable members aged 17 to 22, they have been advised to wear face masks, stay away from crowds and to get vaccinated immediately.

“We have been communicating through telephone and social media to coordinate these changes to our end of year projects, but our environmental family is our top priority right now, just as other people are trying hard to protect their own families,” Mr  Tipama’a added.

Group activities for the end of this year included tree planting, clearing up plastics and other waste from the town’s most polluted areas, as well as climate change seminars at the National University of Samoa. 

But until the threat of measles comes to pass and the state of emergency has been lifted, the Envirobassador’s fight for environmental awareness will have to wait to see another day.

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