PEIN Country Profile and Virtual Environment Library

american samoa American Samoa                

Capital City: amsamoa                             
Pago Pago
Polynesia - Pacific (Oceania)
Samoan, English
National Focal Points for Environment:
AS Environmental Protection Agency
Department of Commerce


American Samoa is a small island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean and is vulnerable to climate change. There are limited natural freshwater resources in American Samoa and these may be adversely affected by a rise in the level of saltwater penetration under the island caused by sea level rises. In recent years the government have made investments to improve water catchments and pipelines. In the State of Environment Report it is recommended that to adapt to climate change citizens should be encouraged to supplement water needs with cisterns that collect rainwater, houses must be constructed a considerable distance from coastlines and phone and electricity lines should be relocated underground.

American Samoa has a total surface area of 199 square kilometres. It consists of five volcanic islands with jagged peaks and limited coastal plains and two coral atolls. It has a tropical climate moderated by southeast trade winds. There is minimal variation in seasonal temperature. American Samoa has a rainy season from November to April and a dry season from May to October. Typhoons are common from December to March. It is predicted that these will increase as a result of global warming.

The capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, has one of the most valuable natural deepwater harbours in the South Pacific Ocean because its shape protects it from rough seas and the peripheral mountains shelter it from high winds. It is considered to be a strategic location in the South Pacific Ocean.

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook, American Samoa (as at 29 September 2009); and Territory of American Samoa State of the Environment 2002.

  • Country Profiles

  • Country Reports

  • Technical Reports

  • Multimedia

  • Country Websites

Country Profiles
Birdlife [Avifauna] Profiles
Earthtrends Thematic Country Profiles [WRI]
Environmental Vulnerability Index - Country Profiles [SOPAC / UNEP, 2005]
Fishbase Biodiversity Country Profiles (all fish)
Forestry Country Profile
Forestry Department Country Profiles [FAO] 
American Samoa (2010; 333kb) 
see also FAO Forest Resources Assessments - Data collection for the Pacific region [2000]
see also Mongabay Rainforest profiles:
Global Biodiversity Information Forum [GBIF] Country Profiles 
see also GBIF Google Earth Country Links
Invasive Species : Country Profiles [ISSG]
see also NBII Invasive Species information Node profiles
Land-based pollutants inventory for the South Pacific region: Part 2: Regional summary and country profiles [SPREP] (1993; 19mb)
Laws and legislation
American Samoa (2002; 297kb),
see also: IWMI Global Wetlands - Interactive Web Map Server - includes countries of Oceania 
Marine Resource Profiles 
State of Coral Reef Systems
American Samoa (2005; 2.5mb), American Samoa (2008; 4mb)
see also:
see also: 
see also: 
Reefbase Country Profiles (coral reefs, reef fish, biodiversity)
see also GIS data for corals in the Pacific from Reefbase - browse by country and reef profile
see also GIS data for marine protected areas in the Pacific from Reefbase - browse by country and ecosystem
see also: 
see also:
see also:
MPA Global Profiles (marine protected areas database)
The Natural History Guide to American Samoa [NPS]
Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum Country Data:
Pacific Regional information System - PRISM [SPC]
Environmental and Climate Statistics 
Protected Areas 
see also GIS data for marine protected areas in the Pacific - browse by country and ecosystem
SPREP Country Profiles: Exchange of Information by Members at SPREP Annual Meetings:
Exchamge of information by Members on National Developments related to Natural Resource Management Priority of the Action Plan [2007]
Exchange of information by Members on national developments related to Pollution Prevention priority of the SPREP Action Plan [2008]
- Exchange of Information by Members on National Developments Related to the Climate Change Focus Area of the SPREP Action Plan [2009]
Exchange of Information by Members on Year of Biodiversity [2010]
see Agenda Item 11.3: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the 21st SPREP Meeting of Officials in Madang, Papua New Guinea on 6-10 September 2010
see also individual profiles for: Wallis and Futuna
Threatened species: Summary of species on the 2008 IUCN Red List
UNEP Country Profiles [* poorly maintained and little information available]
American Samoa
Water Data Country Profiles [USGS]
World Bank Environment indicators
World Factbook Country Profiles [CIA]
World Ocean Database 2005 [NOAA]

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Country Reports
Invasive Species 
Invasives reports: American Samoa (2000; 215 kb)

see also
Invasives Species on Pacific Islands [reports] - HEAR / PIER project website

Ships' Waste Management in Pacific Islands Ports: Country reports
State of the Environment Reports
American Samoa (2002; 1.67mb)
see also Regional perspectives: Asia and the Pacific (UNEP, GEO-4. 2007; 382 kb) 

see also the archive of SPREP Country Reports between 1980-1983 as follows:
American Samoa (1980; 379kb)

State [U.S.] Wildlife Action Plans [Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategies - CWCSs]
American Samoa (2006; 1.54mb)

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Technical Reports
Reports available online from SOPAC [Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission]
see also:
This is an index to the set of all known environmental reports and publications compiled by the American Samoa National Park Service's inventory and monitoring staff as of 2008.

see also Hardcopy reports held in the American Samoa Marine and Wildlife Library
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Multimedia - posters, videos etc 
Alega Bay: American Samoa marine reserve 
Marine conservation in Alega Bay, American Samoa. Alega Bay is located on a tiny isle in the south pacific called American Samoa. Tisa, local land & business owner, dedicates her life to the preservation of her world, as it should be. 

Fruitbats of American Samoa
Educational Video made by the National Parks Service (U.S.)

Managing Change: Population Pressure in American Samoa
A movie about population pressure in American Samoa.

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Country Websites

American Samoa's Digital Library
The National Park of American Samoa staff have compiled a bibliography (with pdf copies) of Environmental Literature of the Samoan Archipelago. Excellent resource.

The mission of the Coral Reef Advisory Group is To protect and conserve coral reefs for the benefit of the people of American Samoa, the United States, and the rest of the world. 
Coral Reef Advisory Group member agencies work together by mutual consensus to manage coral reefs in American Samoa by planning achievable programs, identifying and collaborating with other partners, obtaining funding for projects, tracking project compliance, promoting public awareness, and developing local capacity for eventual self-sustainability.

American Samoa - Department of Marine and Wildlife
Excellent resource site for both terrestrial and marine biodiversity of American Samoa. 
see in particular 'The Natural History Guide to American Samoa' - comprehensive guide to the American samoa's geology, geography and biota.
see also:
SPREP Library and IRC collection [SLIC] - includes online full text access to a wide range of Pacific environment materials.

see also:
"International instruments relevant to SPREP's work in the areas of Sustainable Economic Development, Ecosystems Management, Climate Change, and Waste Management."

Academic literature and research
- The National Park of American Samoa staff have compiled a bibliography (with pdf copies) of Environmental Literature of the Samoan Archipelago. An excellent resource.
via Google Scholar

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