On the fourth day of celebrating the National Environment Week, the Ministry conducted a Children and Youth Panel highlighting the theme, “Young Climate Advocates: Perspectives from current and emerging leaders” which was moderated by the current Miss Samoa, Moemoana Safaatoa Schwenke. The panel discussions aimed at capturing the unique perspectives of our children and youth and what they understand about climate change including its impacts. The panel members represented children and youth aged 7 to 25 from schools and community youth groups conducting climate change projects including youth who have had the opportunity to represent Samoa on the global conference and platforms. The discussions also shed light on what our future leaders think and want for climate action.
The second panel discussion for climate action focused on the theme, “Climate Change Resilience: Perspectives from Communities and Project Implementers. This panel explores the perspectives from NGO’s and Civil societies as well as community members on the effectiveness of some of the community-based project and how these projects have contributed to building grassroots resilience. The panelist were members of community projects namely Small Grants Program of UNDP and the Civil Society Support Protram of the Government of Samoa and representatives of recipients of projects from SGP, CSSP and the Samoa Conservation Society.
In addition, the National Pre COP-28 Panel focused on providing the current national and group positions by thematic areas (Mitigation, Adaptation, Loss and Damage, Gender, Agriculture, Climate Finance) and unlocking some of the key asked by Parties for COP28; provide the platform to submit recommendations to develop Samoa’s position for the upcoming COP; provide the National delegation with the platform to analyse progress in global climate discussions since COP27, including the decisions and outcomes from the June SB58 inter-sessional meetings and to consider priority outcomes and strategies for delivering them, leading up to and during COP 28. The CEO of the Ministry moderated this panel session.
At 2pm – 3pm, a tsunami drill was conducted in Apia, closing all businesses, government offices, and schools. The exercise was held in conjunction with the World Tsunami Day 2023 and the National Environment Week celebrations. Following the Meteorological Office’s tsunami warning, the sirens at Malifa, Tanugamanono, Magiagi, Apia, and Lalovaea, as well as the Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority and Samoa Ports Authority, were triggered to facilitate evacuation. The goal of the tsunami drill was to trial evacuation plans for towns, schools, businesses, and offices in the Apia Business Central Area, from Vaimoso, Mulinuu, to Moataa.