Environment, ocean protection gets major boost

Australia has invested AU$100 million ($200.3 million tala) in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030 Plan in a bid to further protect the oceans and the environment.

Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty said the funding from her government is to boost efforts to prevent, halting and reverse degradation of areas such as oceans, grasslands, forests and mountains or essentially all life on Earth.

“Protecting life below water and on land are two of the Sustainable Development Goals that Australia is taking action on to help protect our ecosystems,” she said.

“One of the ways that we are protecting our oceans is through an additional AUD$100 million investment to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030, that will continue leading the world and our region in how we manage our ocean habitats and coastal environments further contributing to the global task of reducing emissions.

“As the world’s only island continent, Australia has always understood that how we manage our oceans and coastal environments will determine the success or failure of our world’s efforts to address climate change. 

"That is why we have been leading the world in taking action in this important area."

Ms Moriarty said Australia has pledged AU$1.5 billion in climate finance between 2020–2025 which will include AU$500 million support for Pacific neighbours to deploy renewable energy and strengthen resilience to the impact of climate change. 

“This commitment is guided by Australia’s Climate Change Action Strategy 2020–2025,” she said.

“Australia has continued to work closely with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program with a 10-Year Partnership signed in May 2021.”

The Australian government's partnership with S.P.R.E.P is one of the many initiatives that Canberra is undertaking to support Pacific Island nations build climate change and disaster resilience.

The impact of environmental degradation on marine life in Samoa is already been felt in the local community with Pio Tuaimalo, a fisherman from Matautu, telling the Samoa Observer on Monday that he is blaming the increase in rubbish being dumped into rivers for the dwindling number of fish being caught. 

He said fishing is a hobby which he has been doing since he was five and years ago he would usually get a lot of fish but that doesn't happen a lot today. 

Mr Tuaimalo then appealed to the local community living next to estuaries to avoid throwing rubbish into rivers as it would impact on marine life in the ocean. 

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