Monday: Official Opening

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT WEEK – PRESS RELEASE

‘HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, HEALTHY PEOPLE’ is the theme of the National Environment Week for the Government and its partners, as we officially open the week long commemoration today!  This year marks the 28th year since Samoa established this event, to promote environment conservation and bring into the national forum critical environmental issues, important to our well being and sustainable national development.

The National Environment Week will be launched today by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Hon. Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Sogi.

For this year’s Environment Week, the Environment Sector partners have put together a program to promote Healthy Environment-Healthy People. The theme reminds us that a healthy and resilient Samoa is premised on a sustainable environment that is able to provide ecosystem services to meet all socio-economic needs, without compromising the quality of life.

Today will be the launch of a weeklong tree planting campaign with the communities around Upolu and Savaii, in the rehabilitation of degraded forest and watershed areas that provides habitat for native biodiversity, as well as clean air and good quality water. The wider public is encouraged to plant trees throughout this whole week, taking advantage of our free native seedling distribution tents, located at Eleele-fou in front of the Central Bank and the Salelologa Market in Savaii.  This program forms part of the Two Million Tree Campaign the MNRE is implementing with the support of farmers and communities.  Several other plans will be launched this morning, including the Sustainable Land Management Plans for Uafato and Safa’atoa; the BIORAP Survey Report; Soil Conservation and Management Manual; and the signing of the Revised MOU between MNRE and Faleaseela Village.

Following the launching, will be a workshop for stakeholders, on Disaster Management Private Sector Preparedness Partnership. This initiative aims to strengthen the partnerships between the Ministry and the private sector during times of disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Tomorrow, there will be an Inception Workshop at Tanoa Tusitala to launch the IMPRESS (“Improving the Performance and Reliability of RE Power System in Samoa”) Project between UNDP and MNRE funded through the Global Environment Facility. This workshop follows on from the signing of the MOU between the Government and UNDP in August, on this new project to improve the sustainable and cost-effective use of renewable energy sources such as biomass. This project will assist us in realizing our commitment at the international stage, to be 100% renewable by 2025 under the Paris Agreement, and in meeting our indicators under the Sustainable Development Goal7.

Also to be launched tomorrow at the Elisa Hotel, is the Taimua Samoa Environmental Program for schools. This initiative is a project by the Leadership Samoa Class of 2016, to look at young champions for the environment, initiating innovative projects on recycling and reforestation.

On Wednesday, at the Tanoa Tusitala will be another inception workshop to launch the Ridge to Reef Project between the SPC and MNRE. This project aims to integrate land, water and coastal management at the Fagalii Watershed Area.

On Thursday, the Environment Sector Annual Review program will be conducted at the Samoa Convention Centre, with a parallel community program in the village of Faleaseela on tree planting and mangrove cleanups.

Finally on Friday, several programs will be going in parallel to close the Environment Week on a high. There will be an emergency evacuation tsunami drill in Savaia Lefaga, to coincide with the World Tsunami Day 2017; a Nature Walk at the Le Pupu Pu’e National Park targeting young researchers, and finally the closing of the week with a tree planting activity at the Malololelei Reserve.

The Environment Sector expresses appreciation to all the development partners, regional organizations, Ministries and agencies, the private sector, NGOs and Civil Societies, and most importantly the community, who have extended support to all the environment conservation campaigns.

For more information on the events of the week, please contact the Ministry on telephone 67200.  For a detailed program, please email Jackie Nuuvali at jackie.nuuvali@mnre.gov.ws.

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