The XVI Pacific Games 2019 was a magnificent opportunity for the Two Million Tree planting campaign because it was not only promoting Greening of the Games but also contributing to the 2,000,000 trees to be planted by 2020.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment led the coordination and implementation of the tree planting activities for Athletes on the 2 weeks games promoting messages of “Saving a Life by Planting a Tree” to ensure a sustainable green growth environment and mitigating impacts of climate change through carbon sequestration.
Two planting sites were prepared for the activity; Vailima National Reserve at Mt. Vaea and the Faleata Recreation Reserve at Tuanaimato. These two sites were well prepared to plant more than 3,000 seedlings at the Faleata Reserve and about 2,000 seedlings at the Vailima Reserve. Despite of their busy game schedules some athletes provided their enthusiastic support and contributions through planting trees throughout the 2 weeks games which totalled up to 3,055 mixed native tree seedlings including tava, malili, asitoa and tamanu for Upolu island. These countries include; Papua New Guinea (athletic team and officials), Tonga Athletes, Fiji team (rugby, va’a, powerlifting & athletics – men and women), Vanuatu Archery Athletes, Samoa (badminton, swimming, cricket, va’a), Voice of the Athletes (VoA) Champions and Tahiti. Norfolk Island and again Fiji teams planted trees on Saturday 20th July ending the 2 weeks tree planting for athletes at the Faleata and Vailima National Reserve.
Savaii on the other hand, also made available planting grounds for the boxers as well as supporters and at the end of the week’s boxing game they managed to plant 180 native seedlings at the Don Bosco school compound marking the Pacific Games and contributing to the cause.
It was indeed a thrilled and memorial event that each player witnessed and will remember for many days. Some admitted that when they come back to visit Samoa they will be willing to check out the trees they planted or even their children.
MNRE gratefully acknowledges the generous support and enthusiasm of the participated teams and athletes of all the countries took part to our tree planting initiatives. It is a token to remember that being an athlete of the Pacific Games 2019, was not only aimed for a medal but creating ownership to be thankful to Samoa being the host of the games through planting trees. The program gratefully appreciated everyone’s contributions with the living spirit of the games “one in spirit’ and the Pacific way. Also, acknowledge the invaluable assistance from Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Programme (SPREP) leading the Greening of the Games for supporting the Two Million Tree planting campaign and all the partners including the Pacific Games Committee, Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC), Voice of the Athletes (VoA) in trying to get athletes to plant trees supporting the two weeks program.
The TwoMillion Trees Samoa facebook page posted all pictures of the tree plantings that were conducted and we are very thankful to everyone for providing their consent in posting those picture.