Ocean Planning in Samoa

building climate resilience by strengthening community engagement through Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA)

With the aim to support Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) by implementing a national-scale Marine Spatial Plan (MSP = Ocean Plan) while strengthening community engagement in climate actions in Samoa, more than twenty participants from different Government Ministries and Corporations whom who had the key role in managing Samoa’s ocean resources, were gathered to attend a one (1) day workshop on 13th March 2019 at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel in Apia.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Ulu Bismarck Crawley in his Official Keynote Address, highlighted the significance of Marine Spatial Planning not only in the management but sustainable development and wise use of Samoa’s Ocean Resources.

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) or Ocean Planning is a practical way of spatially organising the human use of marine areas to balance the demands of human activities with the need to maintain the health of the ecosystems on which those activities depend. This is especially important in Pacific Island countries where ~98% of their area is ocean, and where livelihoods, food security, cultural wellbeing, and economic dependencies are inter-connected with the ocean.

There is recognition that marine ecosystems are in decline, mostly due to human activities, but there is also recognition that it is possible to manage human activities to minimise these impacts. MSP (Ocean Plan) involves an inter-sectoral and participatory public process of identifying and achieving economic, social and ecological objectives in a transparent and organised way. The intended result of MSP (Ocean Plan) is to spatially organise human activities to ensure that they are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable.

In the proceeding of event, the Government of Samoa and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Oceania Regional Office (IUCN ORO) will be implementing a four (4) years Project with funding support from the European Union.