Forest restoration project to tackle emissions

A new, year-long forest restoration project led by the Samoa Conservation Society (S.C.S) aims to increase the scale of Samoa's carbon emission offsets.

The project which is funded by the American Government's Pacific Islands Forest Restoration Initiative will involve the Conservation Society work in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E) Forestry Division and the Poutasi Development Trust.

The Project Coordinator, Faleafaga Toni Tipamaa of the S.C.S that the project is to upscale Samoa's carbon offsets and is the second part of a project started in 2018. 

(Carbon offsets reduce the level of carbon greenhouse gas emissions to balance out those emitted elsewhere).

Faleafaga told the Samoa Observer in a telephone interview on Monday evening that they will first investigate the feasibility of getting international certification for Samoa's carbon offsets, by way of workshops. 

"Another one is [the] training of youth in forest restoration and tree planting at O Le Pupu Pue National Park. And you know O Le Pupu Pue National Park is one of the largest areas of conservation in Samoa," he said.

Faleafaga explained that it will be a good pilot site for carbon offsetting.  

Another goal of the project is to restore at least 4 hectares of highly degraded areas in the O Le Pupu Pue National Park, and to restore biodiversity and improve resilience to threats such as climate change, and looking to absorb more than 2,300 tons of Carbon Dioxide.

He stated that the project will highlight many key factors for carbon offsets. 

As the site for the project is O Le Pupu Pue National Park, Faleafaga stated that they will be working with their key partner M.N.R.E who will be providing the seedlings and planting materials. 

Faleafaga also confirmed that Poutasi Development Trust will also participate by providing labour; S.C.S. will look into incentives for village assistance and payments for labour. 

The project is anticipated to benefit the communities and will also allow other organistions to partner with S.C.S.

Questions were sent to the Assistant Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) of the M.N.R.E's Forestry Division for comment but a response was not received as of press time. 

The President of the Poutasi Development Trust, Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale was also called for comment. 

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