Samoa as a party to the CBD attended the high level meeting 14th COP for the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Egypt from 14th-15th of November 2018. The theme for the Conference was “ Investing in Biodiversity for people and planet”.
The two day high level meeting look mainstreaming biodiversity in 4 key sectors; manufacturing and processing industry; infrastructure; health; energy and mining. The discussions were dealt through roundtables which allows countries to provide interventions on the current status of biodiversity, challenges and then opportunities for enhancing biodiversity conservation in these selected sectors.
Samoa was engaged in the roundtables on infrastructure and energy/mining. Main challenges were discussed along the impacts and vulnerability of small island countries to climate change and natural disasters. Limited land for infrastructure development to serve the growing and mobile population. Sea bed mining continue to call for proper research to avoid impact to the marine biodiversity and the environment at large.
In response, it calls for adequate and robust environmental assessment policies and legislative frameworks to ensuring biodiversity and environment sustainable is realised in all development activities. Furthermore, the inclusion of social safeguard issues and culture in the assessment framework. Tools to catalyse and translate findings to appropriate policies, action plans and reporting/evaluation framework are critical and important.
The role of SPREP as the regional partner in guiding national and regional efforts to respond and report to the requirements of the convention shall be recognised.
Samoa delegation was lead by Honourable Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, Chief Executive Officer Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
In the closing of the meeting, the Honourable Fiame Naomi Mataafa, delivered the closing statement on behalf of the Asia Pacific Region. The address reconfirms the commitment of the region to all efforts for the sustainable management and conservation of biological diversity through mainstreaming biodiversity in all development sectors.