M.N.R.E., S.A.S.N.O.C. team up to plant 500 trees
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.) has gifted 500 trees to the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.) to support its national tree-planting drive.
A Ministry representative, Peseta Ilalio Tuanai, said he believes that the partnership allows Samoan athletes to improve the environment while reaping the benefits of living in a healthier environment at the same time.
"Trees are very important, that's why people from other countries have come to our country because there are different kinds of trees in Samoa," he said.
"Countries abroad hardly have any trees because there is a lot of deforestation or cutting down of trees, and produce timber and other related products.
“But our country relies on the planting of trees so that more oxygen is produced for the health of the country, because if there is not enough oxygen then where are we going to get good oxygen for our country's well-being, especially for our athletes.
“That is the important aspect of our partnership with S.A.S.N.O.C.; we can lend a helping hand.”
With more sports gyms being built around the Tuanaimato Sports Complex, Peseta says that there’s all the more reason to have more trees in the area.
Many of the houses being built around the area are used by children for sports who benefit from the fresh air emitted by trees and their offsetting of the carbon emissions that cause global warming.
Peseta said that tree planting initiatives should continue.
"I think it's best to continue because cyclones occur every year and damage trees but the tree planting still continues," he said.
Tuala Mathew said the Ministry’s partnership with S.A.S.N.O.C. was first struck during the 2019 Pacific Games.
"Now that we found this opportunity especially with the COVID-19 restrictions, we have time not only for the athletes but for families to plant trees as well,” he said.
“This is a challenge [...] if they can find trees to save like kava, asi, and mosooi, it is useful for our environment.”
The trees given to S.A.S.N.O.C. said the trees were all of different species; the supply of the trees will be replenished once they have been planted.
"These trees can be used for timber or postal species, so they are used for protecting us from cyclones and things like that,” Peseta said.
“But it's not yet finished, as you can see, they have a big land here and Rome was not built in one day. If we have time next week, we will continue until it's done.
It's not [just] for the land owned by the Government [at which] we [can] go and plant trees [...] but the public also has a chance to get trees.
“They can call our office at Vailima, Togitogiga, or Savaii at Asau and Maota. They can just contact us and we will deliver the trees to them.
"The importance of the programme, [is] our children can have the chance to look at some of the trees that they have never seen before like the kava, asitoa, maalili, and many other Samoan trees that they grew up not knowing.”