During the month of August, Vailima National Reserve has hosted five different organisation and public tree planting events to support efforts by the government of Samoa in increasing the resilience of our native forest and communities against the impacts of climate change
A total of 2,331 native trees of 10 different species have been planted in the reserve covering and area of approximately 0.9 hectares with the following specific long-term goals:
- To improve public awareness on the significance of maintaining the health of native forest which can provide essential services in return such as clean air, buffer against extreme weather, firewood and others.
- To increase resilience of the forest, in this case, Mt Vaea Reserve by restoring the native ecosystem through replanting of native and more resilient trees at the same time improving the status of native biodiversity in the area which also aligned with the focus of the Mt Vaea ecosystem resilience and forest restoration project underway.
- Contribute to achieving the 2million tree campaign target by 2020
- Fun activity to improve the social wellbeing of communities and boost a healthy lifestyle
Each planting effort have worked on replanting the open and disturbed areas of Management Unit 01 which is currently identified as a priority site for restoration works under the Mt Vaea Ecosystem Resilience and Forest Restoration Project implemented by Division of Environment and Conservation. The main species planted include the Maota, Tava, Asitoa, Malili, Mamalava, Tamanu, Leva, Fao, Fetau and Falaga.
- On Saturday 04th August, the Samoa Conservation Society hosted a Public Open Day awareness program to promote some of the programs the society implements towards supporting the government with environmental protection activities in partnership with MNRE. Despite how obstructive the weather came that morning, the rain did bless on planting 610 seedlings in total.
- On Tuesday 7th August, the 300 Biology course students from National University of Samoa participated by planting a total of 225 seedlings as part of their educational curriculum on Environmental management. The program lead by Lecturer Mr Faainuseiamalie Latu has continued to play an important role in developing extensive understanding of students in comparing actual implementation on ground through practical engagement from learning theory in conservation. We wish to maintain this partnership with the University for years as we do need more conservationist in the field.
- Thanks to the newly established ProGreen group of Samoa for lending a hand on Saturday 25th August whom planted 500 seedlings. The group has just been recently established and we congratulate the board and members for the great initiative. Samoa and our degraded environments need your proactive support to help protect and conserve our natural resources.
- On this same day, JICA Alumni also completed their hikeathon event on Mt Vaea loop trail and finished it off with their tree planting activity of 500 seedlings. We appreciate and thank the presence of JICA Director Mr xxx on your participation and support in planting trees with us on Mt Vaea. CEO-MNRE Ulu Bismarck Crawley also participated and gladly acknowledge the support and contribution of JICA and JICA Alumni to achieving Samoas national targets. Indeed the event helps wake up other organizations to be creative and enjoy fun activities with the environment at the same time we learn to appreciate how much resources nature offers and how much we can offer to sustain its beauty and value. The program this morning highlights the strong standing partnership between the two organizations not only in the political world but have continued to work together to restore loss on the ground.
- To close off the month of August, our nearby friends from SPREP also hosted their hikeathon event, rubbish collection and tree planting activity in the Vailima National Reserve on 31st of August with their target number of 500 seedlings. SPREP’s Social Club committee is keen to keep this an ongoing activity to show their support in maintaining the health of the Vailima National Reserve as the first ever established Reserve in Samoa but also the home of famous writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Its former native biodiversity has degraded over the years due to unsustainable use and management of the area and therefore SPREP would like to enlighten its support to MNRE through keeping the reserve clean and replant native trees.
The Table below summarizes the number of plants planted during these public events.
|Date||Total Seedlings||Organization||Area Covered|
|4th August||610||Samoa Convservation Society||MU01 area behind SPREP|
|7th August||221||National University of Samoa 300 Biology Class||MU01 area behind SPREP|
|MU01 area behind SPREP|
|31st August||500||SPREP Social Club Event||MU01 area behind SPREP|
We acknowledge and thank all our partners we have worked together with during the month of August. We look forward to work with you again soon.