The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) is commemorating, for the first time ever, its ‘LAND AND SOIL’ week with particular emphasis and focus on the importance of SOILS as a natural resource in supporting life and its physical ecological systems and services on earth. Soil functions as the basic ingredient of LAND for Life on Earth from which singlehandedly enables the spring forth of ecological composition of the physical environment and its all other natural resources such as water, forests and biodiversity of plants and animal species. The seabed of the marine environment is also another integral part of the ecological soil system composition of which together makes up the geophysical component of our life or of what is known as the ENVIRONMENT which God created in its entirety to comprise the Land, Sea and the Atmosphere as its key components. Arguably soil essentially stands to symbolize the basic foundation of all life support systems and its ecological services on this very planet called earth.
The request for involvement of schools at both the primary and secondary levels is to bring on-board their commitment and collaboration by way of testing their already learned knowledge in schools. At the same time, it provides them with a platform to utilize and present their experiences and expertise in contributing through participation in the commemorative activities for celebrating Samoa’s Land and Soil Week thus organized by the government through MNRE. It is the expectation of the government that the 5 days commemoration is to increase substantively the awareness of the public in general on all land degradation and drought concerns (LDD). Consequently, these concerns are in greater need to be addressed through reversal and transformative programmes and projects at all societal levels of Samoa; grassroots, local and national.
Samoa is fully committed, since its accession as a Party to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on 28 August 1998, to meeting all its obligations as per required of each Party by the Convention Secretariat on addressing land degradation and drought (LDD). LDD issues are fearful land degradation matters which strongly command member-countries to the Convention, as part of its binding obligations, to address within the context of land degradation as it affects Samoa for example and various other tropical islands of the Pacific. The employment of reversal programmes to address LDD issues is the resultant recognition of the critical need to prioritize the appraisal, protection and conservation of land and soil resources in social and economic developments such as agriculture and public infrastructures. On the same front, the role of land and soil in the sustainability of natural resources such as water catchments, native forests and biodiversity is equally important. It ensures in event that the resilient capacity of lands and land-based resources is sufficient enough to combat and mitigate adverse effects of climate change and variability from reaching irreparable degrees.