The Pacific Unearths A Money-Making Environment

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SOUTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (SPREP)

Apia, Samoa

News Release July 13, 1998

Samoa’s Minister of Lands, Surveys and Environment, Tuala Tangaloa, has challenged the Pacific to start making detailed plans for conserving its natural environment.

Speaking to representatives of 12 Pacific Island countries at a workshop on income-generation in conservation areas, the Hon. Tangaloa said there had been a remarkable public awakening in the last two decades. "There has been a revolution in awareness and understanding of environmental issues … a realization that we share one finite earth and that all of us are responsible for what happens to it," Hon. Tangaloa said.

"Together with the societies and communities you work with, you need to define the problems, work out the solutions and take appropriate action. After all, the decisions we make as daily consumers … can shape the world our children and grandchildren will inherit."

Participants at the workshop come from conservation areas established with the support of the South Pacific Biodiversity Conservation Programme (SPBCP). Tamari’i Tutangata, Director of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), which oversees the SPBCP, said one of the key tools for conservation was the ability of local communities to generate income from their natural resources.

"If our communities receive sufficient benefits from a natural resource-based enterprise, then it is likely they will attempt to conserve the resources they depend on," Mr. Tutangata said. "Business development is now seen as an incentive for conservation, but also as a means for communities to start benefiting from their support for conservation initiatives."

Samoa’s Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC), a NZODA funded project with a mission to encourage sustainable private sector small business development and growth throughout Samoa and the Pacific, is coordinating the two-week workshop.

For further information, please contact Fatu Tauafiafi or Jan Sinclair at SPREP: E-Mail: sprep@pactok.peg.apc.org.

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