Island and Ocean Ecosystems
Winners have been announced for Samoa's National Schools Challenge on Invasive Species.

Students learned about the harm that invasive species do in Samoa and then competed with art projects, essays, and activities that they created based on their new knowledge.

The first prize for primary schools went to All Saints Anglican. Vaitele Uta won second prize, followed by (3) Vailele, (4) Falealupo, and (5) Faleaseela.

A collage by Aleipata CollegeA collage by Aleipata College. Photo: SPREP

Maina Iakopo, 13 yrs, from Vaipua Primary School, Fogasavaii, in Savaii, said that he learnt a lot during the Invasive Species Schools Challenge. "We have to work together to get rid of invasive species," he said.

For secondary schools, the winners are Lefaga for first place, followed by (2) Mataaevave, (3), Nuuausala, (4) Safata, and (5) Chanel.

Prizes for the Samoan School Challenge were provided by ANZ Samoa, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Samoa Stationary and Books (SSAB), Business Systems Limited (BSL), and Samoa Commercial Bank.

A series of factsheets, along with a cartoon animation and classroom challenge sheets, have been made available across the region for schools to use and to participate in a regional invasive species school challenge, which is part of a wider programme called "Invasive Species – Everyone's responsibility".

All Saints PS students and teacherAll Saints Primary School students with their teacher showing off their first place winning certificate for the Primary Schools. Photo: SPREP

"It's hoped that while learning about invasive species, students of all ages across the Pacific islands can try the challenge activities and incorporate fun into their learning," said Mr David Moverley, the Invasive Species Adviser at SPREP.

Samoa's top entries will go on to be included in the regional competition, supported by SPREP and Fonds Pacifique. Each Pacific island is invited to submit three winning entries for regional judging.

"We are providing prizes for the top three challenge submissions we receive by 30 November this year," said Mr David Moverley.

"The materials are easily adapted to suit the needs of the classroom, and any school in the Pacific islands region is welcome to use the resources and try one of the challenge activities for submission into the contest."

Chanel CollegeChanel College with their winning photo entry in the Invasive Species School Challenge, Samoa 2016. Photo: SPREP

The Samoan National School Challenge is supported by MNRE, SPREP, Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC), ANZ Samoa, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Should you wish to know more information on the regional Invasive Species Schools Challenge, please email [email protected].

For more information, please contact Dr Tiffany Straza at [email protected]