“Safeguard Samoa’s future and existing natural and physical environment”
“To plan and manage developments that provide better development outcomes for green growth”
The Agency consists of a Planning and Urban Management Board (the Board), a divisional head and appointed officers and employees. The Agency’s functions and responsibilities are classified under three sections, namely Strategic Planning Section, Sustainable Development Section and Urban Management Section.
Planning and Urban Management Board
The Board meets every month or as when confirmed by the Chairman. Board member composite includes 10 members. These include five government representatives and five community representatives as determined from time to time by Cabinet acting on the advice of the Minister.
ABOUT THE AGENCY
Overview, roles and functions
The Planning and Urban Management Agency (Agency) was formed in 2002, and was the first real effort to address national and urban planning and development issues through strategic and statutory instruments. The Agency operates under the Planning and Urban Management Act (the Act) and subsequent regulations. The Act created the Agency and Board as a statutory authority responsible for:
· Preparing strategic urban planning tools such as planning provisions, plans, and development standards;
· Development consent and compliance of development activity;
· Environmental impact control and compliance;
· Establishes the Planning Tribunal; and
· Enforcement provisions.
The Agency sees its mission as “development regulatory and strategic planning for a prosperous Samoa”. This requires the Agency to put into practice the notion of sustainable development in controlling the built environment.
The Agency regulatory model is based on international planning and resource management law and practice.
The Agency is a statutory body set up under the Act. In accordance with the Act, the Agency is established to implement a framework for planning the use, development, management and protection of land. The objectives of the Act are as follows:
a) To provide for the fair, orderly, economic and sustainable use, development and management of land including the protection of natural and man-made resources and the maintenance of ecological processes and genetic diversity;
b) To enable land use and development planning and policy to be integrated with environmental, social, economic, conservation and resource management policies at national, regional, district, village and site specific levels;
c) To create an appropriate urban structure and form for the development of Apia and other centres so as to provide equitable and orderly access to transportation, recreational, employment and other opportunities;
d) To secure a pleasant, efficient and safe working, living and recreational environment for all Samoans and visitors to Samoa;
e) To protect public utilities and other assets and enable the orderly provision and co-ordination of public utilities and other facilities for the benefit of the community; and
f) To balance the present and future interests of all Samoans.
The Agency in performing its function also administers the PUMA (EIA) Regulation 2007 and the PUMA (Development Consent and Fees) Regulation 2008.
The Board Chairman is always the Minister of the Ministry under which the Agency is a part of.
The five government representatives of the PUMA Board are comprised of the following members:
- The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;
- The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance;
- The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development;
- The Police Commissioner;
- The Chief Executive Officer of Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure.
The community representatives of the Board are appointed by the Cabinet. Board composition typically changes post general elections.
The main functions of the Board are highlighted under Section 9 of the PUM Act 2004.The Act provides the Board with powers to enable the proper performance of its functions and furtherance of the objectives of the Act. The Board can delegate its powers from time to time to either generally or particularly to such of its committees, officers or employees it thinks fit.