26 September 2022, Apia - The review and validation of the draft State of Environment (SOE) Report for Samoa was held through a consultation workshop at Taumeasina Island Resort from 20th to 22nd September 2022.
Attended by representatives of Government sectors, Non-Government Organisations and partners, the workshop was led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The draft SOE report is the 4th national assessment of the environment of Samoa since the last reporting in 2013.
Using an integrated approach, the report provides an overview of the status of the environment through five thematic areas; Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction, Culture and Heritage, built environment, Environment Governance, and Natural Environment.
“It is very important that we understand the condition of our environment, so we can look into interventions to implement over the years. Key recommendations identified in the SOE will help us to decide policy actions. The crucial part of this work involves an update of the 3rd National Environment Sector Plan (NESP) which is a response framework that will address recommendations identified in the SOE,” said the Chief Executive Officer of MNRE, Ms Lealaisalanoa Frances Brown-Reupena.
Using the DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impacts) response model for reporting, the report identifies key drivers and pressures behind the changing environment of Samoa.
It documents the impacts resulting from changes, and recommendations and responses to address key challenges to strengthen national resilience. The indicators used in the report are those considered to best provide an overview of environmental issues in the context of Samoa. Data available for assessing trends of indicators over years are examined with each indicator aiming to provide a measure of the current environmental situation to highlight whether the state of the environment is getting better or worse.
Throughout the validation workshop, stakeholders were grouped into the SOE thematic areas in line with their respective areas of expertise to review the status and trends of the related environmental indicators in the draft report. This includes the identification of data gaps and data sources, ensuring the information and data are accurately reported and interpreted in the assessment to best represent the condition of each indicator, as well as providing recommendations for suitable actions to address environmental issues.
Ms Brown-Reupena also credited the valuable input and efforts of stakeholders, both government and non-government organisations in this crucial stage of the process, to ensure that the national report is precise and truthful for reporting against national priorities as well as regional and international reporting obligations.
As the regional agency for the environment in the Pacific, one of SPREP’s core function is to promote cooperation in the region and support member countries including Samoa in developing their national SOE to strengthen informed and data driven decision and policy making.
“The Secretariat acknowledges the great leadership by the Government of Samoa through MNRE and strong partnership amongst national stakeholders in leading the way and for taking bold steps to enhance environmental decision making and reporting through the development of this 4th assessment of the environment since the 2013 SOE,” said Director of SPREP’s Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme, Mr Jope Davetanivalu.
Samoa is one of the 14 Pacific Island member countries under the Inform project to conduct another assessment since its last SOE Report published in 2013.Feedback and input received from the 3-days workshop will be incorporated in the draft SOE report by Mr Matt McIntyre, the consultant that is working closely with MNRE, stakeholders, partners and SPREP to develop and finalise the assessment before submission to cabinet for approval.
The regional GEF Inform project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented by UN Environment, and executed by SPREP through the Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme. The Inform project is helping set up national data portals in 14 Pacific Island countries to house all environment related information for improved decision-making and reporting. Information available on the portal will contribute to the SoE process.
For more information on the State of Environment report, please contact Moira Faletutulu: [email protected]
For more information on the Inform project, please contact Project Manager, Mr. Tavita Sua: [email protected]
To access the Samoa Environment Data Portal, please visit : https://samoa-data.sprep.org/