Working Together to Protect and Restore Our Ocean

6 June, Apia, Samoa – Demonstrating “One in Spirit” while commemorating World Oceans Day this Saturday, will be made possible through a clean-up of the Apia Waterfront from the Vaisigano Bridge all the way to Mulinu’u Peninsula.

Community members and volunteers will also carry out a clean-up in their villages: Matautu, Moata’a, Vaiala, and Vaipuna.

This is the second of three clean-up activities that are part of the Greening the Games actions to be undertaken in preparation of the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games.

“By working together, as one in spirit we can protect and restore our ocean, keeping Samoa beautiful, clean and plastic free.  Our Samoan and Pacific way of life is challenged by the growing waste issues, including that of plastic pollution,” said Mr Ulu Bismarck Crawley, the CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Samoa.

“By 2050 it is said there will be more plastic than fish in our ocean with about 13 million tonnes of plastic leaking into our ocean each year.  Our island nation lies within the world’s largest ocean and as responsible caregivers we are calling upon our community and people to show our respect for our ocean by joining us in the clean-up.”

Samoa, with other Pacific islands is leading the way to reduce plastic pollution, having banned single-use plastic bags and straws as of January this year.  As host of the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games, the island nation has also committed to Greening the Games under the Beautiful Samoa, keep it clean and plastic free campaign.

On 25 May this year the first clean-up activity as part of this campaign, saw over 1,000 volunteers come together to collect rubbish along the four rivers in Apia.  This resulted in over 18,000 kilos of rubbish collected.

“We have seen the commitment made by Samoa, towards a clean and plastic free island nation, at the highest levels.  We have also seen the dedication from the people of Samoa – evident at the very first clean-up activity two weeks ago which saw just over a thousand people participate,” said Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“We look forward to seeing this enthusiasm continue to grow over the coming two remaining clean-up activities.”

This Saturday the clean-up will cover five key areas within four zones, starting at 7am and finishing at 11am.

The Apia Waterfront Clean-Up will cover areas from Mulinuu Peninsula to Sogi which will be Zone A for which the assembly point is at the Mulinuu/Meteorology Office Compound.  Zone B is from Sogi to the Fish Market with the assembly point being in front of the Seana Bar.  From the Market to the Samoa Tourism Office is Zone C with the assembly point behind the RSA Bar, and Zone D is Mulivai to Vaisigano from the STA Fale to the Sheraton Hotel for which the assembly point is the Mulivai bridge outlet.

The fifth area is from Maautu to Vaiala/Vaipua and part of Moataa for which the communities will be leading their clean-up activity.

Should you wish to participate it is asked that you join the clean-up teams allocated at the meeting point in either of the four zones at 7am on Saturday, 8 June.  You will also be able to seek direction from the Information Tent that will be set up at the Malaefatu Park.

Team leaders at each zone will provide safety instructions and distribute gloves and trash bags and it is recommended that you bring a reusable water bottle, sunscreen and a hat.  If you have safety boots or work gloves please bring those also, otherwise rubber gloves will be provided at the sites.

After the clean-up, all volunteers and community members who participated may enjoy fun games and activities, as well as a free sausage sizzle at Malaefatu Park.

“We look forward to having interested people join us – if keen please do be at any of the assembly points of the four zones by 7am on Saturday morning to be part of this activity to help make a difference.  Let’s all celebrate World Oceans Day together this year!” Said Mr Crawley.

The Greening of the Games clean-up event in commemoration of the World Oceans Day is an initiative by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD), Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), and the Office of the Pacific Games.

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