Samoa Conservation Society

Conserving Samoa's Natural Heritage


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30 rural youth engaged in Carbon Offset at O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park.

The  Samoa Climate Smart Reforestation Carbon Offset Project (C-offset) kickstarted in Togitogiga this week.

30 Young people from the villages of Sa’aga, Poutasi and Saleilua were successfully inducted as Carbon Offset Champions to do native tree replanting as part of the Coffset project by the Samoa Conservation Society in partnership with the the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Funded through the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility, the project tackles; Restoration of degraded forest, Tackling Youth Unemployment and alleviating poverty, Raising Environmental Awareness of youth especially women and Engaging the public and private sectors in Samoas first Carbon Offset program.

The Project takes on 30 Champions from the Villages Sa’aga, Saleilua and Poutasi where they will participate in the growing of native trees in the national park. Of those 30 champions there are 9 females participating to highlight the importance of women’s role in the fight against climate change. The 30 Participants will be engaged for a total of 50 days over the next 8 months, 40 of those days being fieldwork and 10 days in the classroom where they will learn different ways in which they can help the fight against Climate Change.

“The young men and women will work closely with Forestry experts from MNRE and with Samoa Conservation Society to improve their skills and knowledge of forest management and conservation in general,” said Christine Tuioti, Project Manager for Coffset.

With the launch of the Project the Participants were given gear to assist them in their work on the field. The First day started with a briefing where the participants were shown the processes of the work that they will be carrying out by MNRE Forestry experts. The Champions were eager and excited to be learning about the restoration of native species as well as contributing to the overall well being of the land. By the end of the Project, the aim is to plant 12,000 trees and to have raised awareness amongst our youth for the persistent Environmental issues we all face. The Project has exciting prospects as it addresses a range of problems in a holistic fashion under the broad themes of environment and socio-economics. We have hopes to expand this project all over our Nation.

We thank all our partners and donors as well as local communities and organisations who are contributing to the conservation of and restoration of Samoa’s native forests.

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Environmental champions look on as Forestry expert Peteli Pese demonstrates the importance of soil preparation before potting of seedlings. 

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Environmental champions with SCS & MNRE Forestry project team. 

 

For more information, contact:

Samoa Conservation Society

Vailima

E: conservesamoa@gmail.com

W:www.samoaconservationsociety.wordpress.com

FB: www.facebook.com/conservesamoa

 

 

 

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Falealili Seasonal Workers lead the way in being Climate Change Warriors!

Once again apple pickers from the Falealili seasonal workers (RSE) scheme lead the way in efforts to fight climate change and restore damaged native forests by planting more than 250 native trees at the O le Pupu Pue National Park on Tuesday June 13. The tree planting is part of the Carbon Offset Project initiated by the Samoa Conservation Society in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MNRE) and the Poutasi Development Trust. These RSE workers returned in early June from NZ and were employed by Mr. Apple.

On May 29 a group of more than 90 seasonal workers who had worked for Johnny Appleseed in Hastings NZ planted 630 native trees, an effort acknowledged by the Rt. Hon Prime Minister of New Zealand, Afioga Leulua’iali’iotumua Bill English, as a great effort and one of many testimonies to the success of the RSE Programme in the Falealili District.

Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale, who is coordinating the seasonal workers from Falealili, says his team of seasonal workers are very proud to go green and to set an example for other large traveling groups to follow. Tuatagaloa says “We hope that our example of doing something practical to offset our carbon footprint and restore our degraded forests by planting trees will be followed by other Samoans, especially large travelling groups that may have a significant carbon footprint”.

Mr. Peteli Pese, representing MNRE Forestry, thanked the RSE workers for their worthy contribution to this Carbon Offset Programme and wished them well on their future endeavours under the RSE Programme. In response, Alaimoana Esau on behalf of the Group, congratulated the Ministry and the Samoa Conservation Society for such a good initiative and pledged the on-going support of the Falealili RSE Workers in not only planting more trees upon their return after each season but in the maintenance of the areas that have been planted.

Samoa’s Carbon Offset Project (C-Offset) was launched at the OLPP NP in October 2016. Initiated by the Samoa Conservation Society in partnership with the MNRE and local communities, the project helps individuals, groups and businesses to offset carbon emissions from the transport sector, with a focus on air travel. This project supports the Samoan government’s priorities to improve environmental sustainability, mitigate climate change and improve disaster resilience while at the same time contributing to the livelihoods of our communities. While the OLPP NP is currently the focus of Samoa’s C-Offset project, there are plans to restore other sites in the future on both Upolu and Savaii.

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Seasonal workers from Falealili at the C-offsets restoration site at the O le Pupu Pue National Park, Tuesday June 13, 2017

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Rt Hon. Prime Minister of New Zealand Leulua’iali’iotumua Bill English, Dr Mary English and Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale at the C-offsets restoration site at the O le Pupu Pue National Park, Friday June 2, 2017

 

For more information, contact

Samoa Conservation Society. E: conservesamoa@gmail.com

Tel: 7575300


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Samoa kick starts first Carbon Offsets Project to support rainforest restoration

carbon-offset-team-2016Apia 12/10/2016 – The first Carbon Offset Project (COffset) for Samoa kick started its pilot phase this week  in the villages of Poutasi, Saleilua and Saaga. Initiated by the Samoa Conservation Society in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) the Project pilots activities to offset carbon emissions from the transport sector, with a focus on air travel.

James Atherton, the Project Team Leader says the concept of the project is very simple. “All fossil-fuel powered vehicles including commercial ariplanes emit CO2 during operation. If you wanted to be “Carbon Neutral” you could then pay a carbon offset, in a sense you are paying for the emissions you are contributing to. Your payment would then be used in a project meant to reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions.”

Many airlines now have a “carbon offset” option when you book your flight. According to Atherton, because climate change is a non-localized problem, it doesn’t matter where the emissions are reduced. Greenhouse gases spread evenly throughout the atmosphere and reducing them anywhere contributes to protecting the climate. The same method can be used to offset the annual mileage accumulated by an automobile, or the emissions of a stationary source such as a power plant or even office power usage.

The COffset pilot phase began initial activities earlier this year funded by the carbon offset payments of three local donors to start the planting of over 500 trees at the Ole Pupu Pue National Park.

“We are aiming to offset 100,000 kg CO2 from air travel of 3 private donors. Samoa’s new COFFset project will help to restore our degraded forests, own up to our responsibilities, and involve communities through youth engagement,” said Atherton.

The initial phase of the project is implemented through the villages of Poutasi, Saleilua and Saaga. Staff from the Society and MNRE are working with young people and members of the community to replant and maintain areas replanted under COffset.

“Young people from the three villages are being trained in tree propagation and forest restoration and are doing all the restoration work,” Atherton said.

Forests in Samoa as in the Pacific continue to decline as a result of various threats these include logging, agricultural activity, the spread of invasive species and extreme weather events, especially cyclones. Samoa’s forest cover has gone down from around 75% in the 1950’s to less than 60% today. Some experts believe that a quarter of remaining forest is highly degraded and dominated by invasive plants such as fa’apasi, tamaligi, pulu vao, and pulu mamoe.

By focusing on replanting and restoring native forests, the project will also assist in promoting and preserving habitat and food for our native biodiversity including birds, flying foxes, reptiles and invertebrates which evolved with native plants and forests.

According to the President of Samoa Conservation Society Sala Josephine Stowers the project marks the beginning of what the Society hopes would be larger scale initiative in Samoa. “This pilot phase will demonstrate at a small scale the value of carbon offsetting and the involvement of communities in reforestation, essentially it paves the way for a larger project that targets more communities.”

For more information, contact:

Christine Tuioti, Samoa Conservation Society. E: conservesamoa@gmail.com

For more information on SCS see https://samoaconservationsociety.wordpress.com/

Moeumu Uili, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

For more information on MNRE see: http://www.mnre.gov.ws/


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Samoa Conservation Society Open Day – members and friends in Action!


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Samoa Conservation Society Open Day – a hit with the Forest Heroes!

Mt Vaea was alive with green activities as the Samoa Conservation Society held their open day on Saturday 13 June.

Over 50 society members, their families and friends gathered to celebrate the Society and contributed to efforts by the Government and partners to restore the Mt Vaea Reserve.

The Mt Vaea Reserve was established in 1978, one of the first in the country, is a popular tourist spot due to its close proximity to town, the tomb of Robert Louis Stevenson and its cultural placement in the oral history of Samoa.

“We are very pleased with the turnout today. This is our first major event and I’m very happy that many parents came and brought their children”, says Sala Josephine Stowers-Fiu, President of the Samoa Conservation Society.

“It is a good day for the forest and for our efforts to support the Government restore our national heritage. We need to continue conservation efforts in all our communities, such as planting of trees in order to regenerate the forests. The trees are the lungs of the earth, and everyone on this planet need this”, she adds.

The Samoa Conservation Society is a local environment NGO that is working to save the Manumea, Samoa’s national bird. The Manumea requires good forest to survive and this is one of the aim of the Society is to save Samoan species by saving forests and working with communities to protect them.

Members were able to plant over two-hundred native plants to replace the invasive trees that have taken over much of the Mt. Vaea Reserve. Five tree species have taken over the Mt Vaea.

“These invasive trees are fast growing, they replace our native species”, says James Atherton, SCS member and organiser of the event.

“To restore this Reserve requires all of our help, and the Society and its members are pleased to contribute in a small way towards a big task”, he adds.

“I’m really pleased that I brought my children to Mt Vaea and they got a chance to plant native species. My daughter planted nine trees”, says Leatigaga Mark Bonin.

The children were not left idle, as they were split into three teams to explore some of the species. Team Forest Heroes and Conservation Avengers did some challenging activities including identifying tree species and learning more about what is a native species and what is not.

The Samoa Conservation Society will be holding another activity next month and welcome all the members of the public to join them. A fun quiz night is being planned and there will be plenty of conservation information to help everyone become a Samoan environment hero.

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40 kilos of rubbish on World Oceans Day!

Members of the Samoa Conservation Society collected 40 kilograms of rubbish along the Taumeasina foreshore yesterday afternoon. This was part of the World Oceans Day celebrations, where the global community undertake various activities to commemorate the importance of oceans in our lives and our planet. The theme of Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet remains a challenge if the amount of rubbish that was collected is an indication of how things are like.

The Samoa Conservation Society teamed up with SPREP (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme) and the Pualele Outrigger Canoe Club to action this initiative. This is part of a regional campaign where SPREP is trying to measure and determine the origin of most of the rubbish or marine litter in the Pacific.

From observations yesterday, most of the rubbish were bottle tops from soft-drinks and beer and cigarette butts. Broken bottles and glass were also very common, as were bits of styrofoam cups and plates that are used for take away food and coffee.

The activity shows that there is a need for a campaign to stop people from discarding their rubbish, however small, on our environment, especially near coastal areas where king-tides are known to occur. These rubbish will end up in the sea and will affect marine life and eventually will affect us. We all want a healthy planet, a healthy Pacific Ocean and healthy communities. For this to occur – it needs to start with us.

Have a great World Oceans Day and we would like to thank all our members that joined us for this event. Look forward to your support and attendance at the Mt Vaea National Park Families & Friends Day this Saturday 13th June, 2015.

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World Oceans Day 2015 clean-up at Taumeasina

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James Atherton showing some of the rubbish collected

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Stuart Young happy collecting rubbish at World Oceans Day!

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Trashing it away!

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Weighing the rubbish haul from World Oceans Day!

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Some of the SCS members volunteering for the World Oceans Day!

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Some of the rubbish collected for the World Oceans Day activity

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Mel Bradley showing the bottle caps collected. Bottle caps were the most common litter along the beach-front

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One of our volunteers recording the various rubbish collected for World Oceans Day