Samoa Beat

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The Science and technology for sustainable development conference held at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) has opened with calls from the Secretariat of the Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) for better protection for the regions oceans.

Director General for SPREP, Leota Kosi Latu opened the day’s presentations with a paper on Ocean Governance, and called out non climate stresses causing the many issues within the regions oceans.

“Humans are hurting the oceans, and it’s the action of man that’s causing the many problems in our waters and then they are multiplied by climate change,” he said.

Part of the concerns was the need to educate the region to treating our oceans as on large eco system rather than just bodies of water around one particular island.

“Our people need to understand that the actions we do in one part of the ocean, can and will affect the other side,” he said.

He was talking about the migration of fishes and the many threatened species in the Pacific’s oceans.

Leota was firm in his address that there is a definite need to better protect the regions waters through policies, not just in the region but in every particular country. 

“We are dragging our feet, we say something but do something else, its contradictory,” he said.

“Right now Vanuatu is the only island in the region with a National Oceans Policy. There is a regional one, but in order to get down to specifics, we need everyone to be in the conversation,” he added.

Leota says there needs to be long term multi-sector programmes within each government that aim at the preservation, protection and growth of oceans. 

Along with including a call for each government in the region and member countries of SPREP to fully collaborate with equal power sharing on the topic of ocean governance.

He added that the science and surveillance capacity needs a boost for the pacific and cultural knowledge with science for integrated costal and ocean management.

“At the end of the day we do these for the dwellers of the waters we live around, after all it is their ocean and it belongs to them and we need to start adopting that mind set in order to move forward,” he concluded.

The flora is one of the native plants that are slowly fading away from Samoa.

This is according to Dr Art Whistler who is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hawaii who presented on Plants of Samoa: A unique but threatened flora, at the iv Samoa Conference of the National University of Samoa.

The source of the Samoan flora is predominantly Indo-Malayan to Fiji. The Samoan flora comprises 540 native species of flowering plants.

In addition to native plants, naturalized alien plants are included since they are now a natural and self-producing part of the environment.

There are 294 species that are weeds and are naturalized in Samoa. 49 are Polynesian Introduction and the rest are Modern Introduction.

“Some species may appear to be rare or extinct because of mistakes. Mistakes like the location of collection”, says Dr Whistler.

The threats that are faced by the flora and the environment are natural or man-made for instance, cyclones, droughts, tsunami, climate change caused by global warming and etc. Other threats are not directly caused by human activities.

“Further work is needed to determine which plants are being lost”, says Dr Whistler.

Our native forests needs protection. The flora of Samoa is under pressure and species are becoming extinct or extirpated.

Flora is the goddess of flowers in Roman Mythology.

In Samoa the origin are catagorised in two different parts which is the Native and Alien species.

Native Species are naturally occurring on the island while the Alien Species are not of natural occurrence to the island.

Native is then divided into two groups which is Polynesian Introduction and Modern Introduction. It will further divided into Accidental Introduction and Intentional Introduction.

“The seeds for these species arrived in three major ways: seawater flotation, borne by wind, borne by birds and bats. Only a few species in Samoa have seeds that are carried externally by birds or bats”, says Dr Art Whistler

*Vaelei is a first year Media and Journalism student at trhe National University of Samoa.

Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailed Malielegaoi made headlines in the previous weeks after a stunning speech that left world leaders in both shock and awe.

He was calling out sceptic leaders to recognize the fight against climate change is as real as it gets, and calling on leaders who don’t believe in it to take a second look.

A few days later, an Australian Columnist slammed Tuilaepa, mocking him of his weight saying, “he should be watching his eating, not our emission.”

Not long after, another column writer, this time from New Zealand slammed the Pacific Islands calling them “leeches.”

It appeared all negative in response from the bigger neighboring nations to the Pacific. That is until a man by name of Steven Sklifas personally wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Samoa, asking for Samoa to endorse the the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity initiative.

Steven wrote, “Firstly, I would like to congratulate you and Samoa for showing inspirational political courage and leadership on the catastrophic consequences of Climate Change. Your voice is an inspiration to us all.”

“I would like to invite you to endorse the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity which will help change civilization’s current trajectory. 

“After exploring the website and conferring with your associates, perhaps you would see fit to do the Organizational Endorsement and upload your logo.   

“You and your colleagues are also more than welcome to do the Individual Endorsement of the Warning,” he concluded.

Its a glimpse of recognition from those outside of the Pacific who have shown the support for the Climate Change fight that the region faces.

Mr. Sklifas is as Australian Director of the Scientist Warning initiative. Scientists Warning is a global independent network of concerned citizens and organizations committed to the wellbeing of

humanity and the planet.

Samoabeat is unaware of any further developments of this story in regards to whether or not Tuilaepa had responded to the letter.

 

The letter in total is attached below, courtesy of the Press Secretariat:

 

To the Prime Minister

Government of Samoa

 

Dear Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi,

 

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you and Samoa for showing inspirational political courage and leadership on the catastrophic consequences of Climate Change. Your voice is an inspiration to us all.

 

I am the Australian Director of the Scientist Warning initiative. Scientists Warning is a global independent network of concerned citizens and organizations committed to the wellbeing of

humanity and the planet. Our mission, protection and preservation of Life on Earth.

 

The World Scientists Warning to Humanity – Second Notice was published as an article in the prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal BioScience.

 

The article which is one of the most discussed pieces of scientific research ever is a ‘wake-up call’ to humanity has been co-signed by

more than 22,000 scientists from 184 countries.

 

I would like to invite you to endorse the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity which will help change civilization’s current trajectory. 

 

After exploring the website and conferring with your associates, perhaps you would see fit to do the Organizational Endorsement and upload your logo.   

 

You and your colleagues are also more than welcome to do the Individual Endorsement of the Warning. 

 

http://www.scientistswarning.org/join/organizational-endorsement-form/

http://www.scientistswarning.org/join/individual-endorsement-form/

 

It would a great honour to have the endorsement of a great fighter of Climate Change like yourself and the nation of Samoa.

 

I thank you for your time and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Best Regards,

 

Steven Sklifas

 

http://www.scientistswarning.org/

Scientists Warning

National Director – Australia

Writer and Photographer

Phone: +61 417 513 517