Returning seasonal workers offset carbon footprint

Seasonal workers from Falealili have planted 1,500 trees as compensation for the carbon footprint created by their travel to New Zealand and back for work.

The workers returned to Samoa on a chartered flight late July and went through a 14-day mandatory quarantine at Poutasi village, prior to the tree planting exercise on 28 August.

The tree planting exercise is part of the Carbon Offset Project initiated by the Samoa Conservation Society [S.C.S.] in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (M.N.R.E.) and the Poutasi Development Trust. 

According to a media release from the S.C.S., most of the workers acquired cars since joining the Falealili Regional Seasonal Employment (R.S.E.) programme and their quota of 12 trees a year is also to cover fumes released by their vehicles.

And while waiting for their return to New Zealand for the next fruit picking season, those living in Falealili will continue to help forestry workers maintain their block at the National Park, which now has in excess of 5,000 trees that they’ve planted since the start of the project three years ago.  

The 5,000 trees will absorb around 1,140 tons of carbon dioxide in their lifetime, which is equivalent to offsetting the annual emissions of around 570 cars.

“These young men and what they have achieved for themselves and their families never ceases to amaze me,” said Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale, the founder of the Falealili Seasonal Worker Programme. 

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