Students take part in mangrove eco-tour

Samoa Primary School students took part in an eco-tour of the Moataa mangrove plantation on Thursday to learn more about the natural marine environment.

The students were able to learn more about the mangrove ecosystem through a kayaking activity where the pupils toured the mangrove area using kayaks.

Environmentalist and Project Coordinator of the Moataa Mangrove Conservation Project, Tupaimanaia Steve Brown, told the Samoa Observer that the students are interested in learning about the conservation programmes in Samoa which includes the protection of the mangroves.

Tupaimanaia said that they are happy that the students are able to learn about the mangrove ecosystem from the tour guides.

He emphasised that mangroves have been around for thousands of years but over the last 200 years since the start of urbanisation in Samoa, the mangroves have been under threat.

The children, he said, are being taught that they are the custodians of the mangroves, national parks, fisheries reserves and the marine protected areas.

"The more they understand what is required to conserve these ecosystems, the more likely they are of assisting the conservation of Samoa in all of our wildlife and ecosystems," he said.

According to Tupaimanaia, fish rely on the mangroves as breeding grounds, and the more people understand the importance of mangroves, the more they will realise that their future will be protected.

He added that not only the children but adults need to understand that the mangroves are not a dumping ground for rubbish.

Tupaimanaia said that the Moataa village welcomes anyone to come and utilise the boardwalk in the mangrove area.

Climate change is beginning to have an impact on the mangroves leading to a rise in cyclones, floods and sea-level rise.

Tupaimanaia emphasised that unless climate change is stopped, the negative impacts on the mangrove conservation area will continue to increase.

The Co-principal of Samoa Primary School, Anne Leauga told the Samoa Observer in an interview that tour is not only for the students' experience but also to be appreciative of the clean environment and the reserve.

She said she appreciates how the women from Moataa are looking after the mangrove conservation area.

She said that it is a new experience for the students to visit the mangrove conservation area and she said some were excited with the experience of touring the mangroves in Moataa using kayaks.

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