Acting Prime Minister and Acting Minister of M.N.R.E.
Land and Soil week
Samoa in 1998 accessed the Convention to Combat Desertification or Land Degradation.
Samoa since then, became an active member and front-liner for the Pacific in meeting the binding obligations of the Convention, in addressing the physical concerns to do with the degradation of its lands and landscapes including its based resources through many transformative projects on the ground, as well as through awareness programs on land degradation and their physical impacts on the environment.
The government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has delivered so far about three to four on the ground intervention projects specific to addressing land degradation concerns of the country in order to improve the livelihoods and economic well-being of local communities, and to preserve or restore ecosystem stability, functions and services. These projects are:
i. Vaitele degraded Quarry Rehabilitation Project 2007-2009
ii. Capacity Building and Mainstreaming Sustainable Land Management project 2008-2011
iii. And the current S.M.S.M.C.L. project 2013 – 2019 on Strengthening Multi-sectoral Management of Critical Landscapes
The 2 million tree planting campaign is considering a number of degraded land areas in both Savaii and Upolu, the upgrading and rehabilitation of the entire Vaisigano Water Catchment area from ridge to reef, and the implementation of the Community Integrated Infrastructure Management Plans (C.I.M’s) to ensure community’s robust resilience to climate change.
Therefore, provided the coverage of all these aspects of the Land and Soil week, this should provide substantial awareness and clarity to our local and national stakeholders of the importance of Lands and Soils to an individual, a farmer or a land owner, a family, a nation and state like Samoa and its people.
May I once again remind you all of the key message and theme for this week is ‘Without soil, without land, without life.’ Therefore ‘Caring for Planet Earth starts from the Ground!’