M.A.F. stakeholders validate climate change policy

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 11 September 2023, 7:30PM

The first climate change policy on Samoa's agriculture and fisheries sector was endorsed on Monday and was attended by the sector's stakeholders as well as donor partners.

The validation forum held at the Taumeasina Island Resort provided an opportunity for farmers and fishers to give feedback on areas they see should be further considered before the policy is finalised. 

Everyone agreed that the challenges posed by climate change have threatened the stability and sustainability of the sector but such impact and effect were not reflected in the sector's policies.

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’auli Leuatea Schmidt said the impact of climate change threatens the food supply and economic wellbeing of many communities. 

He said for many years the focus on the effects of climate change in the context of the agriculture and fisheries sector was not well-defined. 

“The adverse effects on the three main subsectors crops, livestock and fisheries have significant and varied impacts,” said La’auli at the gathering. “These impacts have wide-ranging consequences which threaten the livelihood of those dependent on these sub-sectors.

“As we gather here today, we recognise the urgency of addressing this issue head-on, and the significance of our collective efforts in response to climate change cannot be overstated.”

In addressing climate change and its impact, La’auli said the goal for the stakeholders is to validate and refine the national policy that will guide the Ministry in addressing such challenges. 

He added adaptation strategies and sustainable practices are essential to mitigate these effects and ensure the resilience of these sub-sectors in the face of climate change. 

The draft Samoa Agriculture and Fisheries Climate Change Policy will provide a framework of actions for all implementing agencies and partners of the sector to adopt, develop and implement.

The FAO Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific provided technical and financial assistance that made the formulation of the Samoa Agriculture and Fisheries Climate Change Policy possible.

FAO representative for Samoa, Ms. Xiangjun Yao also spoke at the validation workshop and pointed out that the impact of climate change is a cold hard reality faced every day facing the farmers and fishers of Samoa.     

“It is the agriculture and fisheries sectors, the communities that produce our food including farmers, fishers, and those dependent on the land, that are at taking the brunt of the climate impacts, especially as the impacts of the climate crisis intensifies,” she said. “Today we witness Samoa’s headway in guaranteeing the delivery of these solutions, through ensuring an enabling policy framework is in place to ensure a comprehensive strategy for a strengthened and climate-smart agri-food system. 

“FAO strongly believes that agri-food systems and the related agriculture and fisheries sectors can support delivery on climate and sustainable development objectives, but only if we work together in an efficient, effective and coherent manner to transform them.”  

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 11 September 2023, 7:30PM
Samoa Observer

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