Samoa Biodiversity Under Threat From Climate Change

admin's picture

Warmer waters reportedly helping invasive species thrive

By Kolotita Talatalaga

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 31, 2012) – Samoa’s national environment week kicked off yesterday morning at the village of Poutasi, Falealili. A large gathering at the Poutasi Community Hall indicated strong support to protect the environment.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said the environment week is extremely important since it is an opportunity to think about protecting Samoa’s most precious natural resources.

The decision to host the event at Poutasi was also significant, he said, as the venue is a constant reminder about the deadly tsunami of 2009. He said many natural disasters are the result of man neglecting his environment.

For this year’s Environment Week, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment wanted to celebrate with communities across Samoa.

As part of the day’s activities, trees were planted next to the Poutasi Community Hall by Prime Minister Tuilaepa, Reverend Letone Uili, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Fa’amoetauloa Dr. Fa’ale Tumalii and a village representative.

The tree planting activity marked the occasion and set an example to others of the ways to sustain natural resources. Speaking to the Samoa Observer, CEO of MNRE, Taule’ale’ausumai Laa’vasa Malua said the main issues concerning Samoa’s environment is climate change and biodiversity.

"Climate change is affecting everything – the growth of our forests, the marine life and agriculture… it’s a key area that needs to be understood," he said.

Taule’ale’a said we are losing our biodiversity. The invasion by invasive species is also a major concern.

"The warmth in water temperatures due to global warming is proving to be attractive to invasive species that did not flourish in previous temperatures," he said.

"At the moment we are looking at how to eradicate all the invasive species that are coming into the country, which also has a close connection to climate change."

The theme for this year’s Environment Week is ‘Sustainable Development – Riding the Waves of Changes.’ It recognizes the changes that our environment is seeing now, and the changes we will see in the future.

"Samoa has seen many changes in the environment, and we will continue to see changes – we need to be prepared," said Taule’ale’a.

Poutasi village member Fereti Alaiva’a was privileged that his village could host the event. "I am thankful to the MNRE for the opportunity to learn the different ways we can save our environment through Environment Week," he said.

"We need events such as these, so that we are aware of what we can do to improve our country for the future generations."

Getting into the spirit of Environment Week, youth members from Falealili participated in a poem and speech competition about this year’s theme ‘Sustainable Development – Riding the Waves of Changes.’

Carrying on with the festivities, there will be a float parade at 8am today, starting at the Police Station in Tauese.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment