Description/achievement of initiative
The partnership between the Government of the Principality of Monaco and Ole Siosiomaga Society and the villages targeted has assisted in the cumulative efforts of OLSSI and other partners in further raising the understanding and awareness of the targeted coastal villages on the value of conservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and sustainable use of coastal mangrove areas and resources emanated from these key ecosystems. For a small island developing states such as Samoa, the mangrove wetlands only account for about 0.7% of the total land area and continue to decline despite the numerous benefits they provide. As proven by the disastrous impacts of the Indonesia Aceh Tsunami in 2004 on the eve of the 2nd SIDS Conference held in Mauritius in 2005 where more than 300,000 peoples lost their lives with direct causes pointing to destruction of mangrove areas to make way for exposed tourism development, this partnership focussing on coastal mangrove conservation and restoration is timely. It has also been proven on work that UNEP did which included neighbouring American Samoa that a 100 meters stand of mangroves dissipate 75% of tsunami waves. Indeed this partnership serves powerfully the desire for SIDS such as Samoa to achieve sustainable development.
This specific partnership whilst led by OLSSI in Samoa is nevertheless linked to the related work of other development partners engaged in mangrove conservation and are linked to broad goals such as adaptation to climate change, food security, primary health, disaster risk management, good governance, advocacy, economic development, waste management, water quality management, fisheries hatchments, coastal marine enhancement, etc. This holistic and integrated approach will lead to sustainability in these individual but collective efforts and ensure the mangrove areas are further increased in terms of the total area percentage of Samoa covered by this key ecosystem for the benefit and the sustainable livelihood of our peoples in the long term future. At the centre of the governance issue are the coastal villages traditional governance systems to lead these initiatives as they are the ‘owners’ of these resources.Partnership with villages respect cultural protocols and the OLSSI methodology and approach takes this key element of community consultation as central as it is tantamount to their full acceptance of outsiders into their village settings and to be considered as genuine and therefore durable partners. Key resource persons are utilized from other partners to share their technical expertise in areas that are not within the capacity of OLSSI and this is where MNRE, NUS, SROS, and others play a crucial integrated role to achieve the outcomes planned.Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology TransferCapacity Building is through engaging the villages at all levels (chiefs and orators, women, the untitled men, the youth, church groups, children) in the activities from the start to the end. Village committees are part of the field work and researches in the desire they fully understand not only the broader goals of the project but having them involved in the activities allow them a more detailed appreciation of what these entail and why these activities are implemented and appreciate the approach and methodologies used. The OLSSI ongoing visits back to villages as project activities progress and to share the results with the villages at the end to share findings and recommendations allows transfer of important knowledge that empower them to take decisions to develop by-laws, village policies, and regulations to ensure the integrity of mangroves are further enhanced and sustainable into the future through their own efforts.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
Falese'ela Village in the District and Bay of Lefaga.
O le Siosiomaga Society Incoporated (OLSSi)