Training builds capacity to map out protected areas
A two-day training on the use of geographic information systems (G.I.S.) for Government officers was held recently.
Conducted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.), the participants were taught on utilising free, open-source G.I.S. software and records of spatial data in the field to produce basic maps of protected and conserved areas.
Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Environment Division M.N.R.E., Seumalo Afele Faiilagi, said the G.I.S. refresher training was for M.N.R.E. technical staff.
Staff from other government ministries who are involved in protected areas related work also found the training helpful.
"This was a great opportunity to build the capacity of our newly recruited officers who will be involved in protected areas and biodiversity conservation work. With the current COVID-19 situation," said Seumalo.
"We are fortunate that S.P.R.E.P. is based in Samoa and is providing continuous support and technical assistance through the BIOPAMA Programme. On behalf of our Ministry, we are grateful for this assistance and support.
“The training has strengthened our capability in the application of new technology and tools that will improve our current work on the establishment and management of protected area networks and nature reserves, including wider biodiversity conservation efforts with more reliable data and information available for decision making and to support effective planning.”
Senior Forestry Management Officer of the MNRE Forestry Division, Ms Lareina Tago also participated in the training and she added that she was grateful for the opportunity provided to enhance her existing GIS-related skills which will assist her with her current work on forestry mapping.