Protect our oceans, urges Samoa minister

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Scientists at the Ocean Acidification workshop aboard the P&O cruiseliner Pacific Jewel in Apia, Samoa– Samisoni Pareti

Small Island states need to do more to rehabilitate, protect and preserve their threatened marine environment. That advice came from Samoa’s Environment Minister Faamoetauloa-Lealaiauloto Taito Dr Faale Tumaalii when he opened a two-day workshop on ocean acidification in Apia today. It’s being held aboard the luxurious cruise-liner, the Pacific Jewel docked at the Apia Port to assist accommodate delegates who will be attending the United Nations Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS).

The five day long conference, which is held every 10 years will open on Monday next week, attended by leaders of the 52 island countries who are classified as SIDS in the three regions of the Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon will attend what is believed to be the largest meeting ever to be held in the Pacific. “Samoa believes that genuine and durable partnerships are indispensable and a necessity in all our development efforts and actions to try and mitigate against the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification,” said Dr Faale. “With the support of our development partners, efforts are concentrated on the concept of green growth as a driver to transition to green economy.”

For its part, the Environment Minister said Samoa is keen to tackle the issue of ocean acidification, which he described as an “emerging problem” for his island nation. “A concerted effort by Samoa’s energy sector to shift from conventional energy source such as fossil fuels to renewable energy or green clean energy has materialised. “Also work has being done to rehabilitate, protect and conserve marine protected areas (MPAs) such as our mangrove forest as breeding grounds for specific fish species such as mullet. There is also work done on reforestation as an important sink for greenhouse gases.”

The workshop aboard the Pacific Jewel is being sponsored by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the governments of New Zealand and the United States.

Samisoni Pareti, Island Business, 28 August 2014. Article.

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