1 Nov 2006

Samoa ups efforts to protect mangroves

2:47 pm on 1 November 2006

There's a push in Samoa to save mangroves nationwide following the success of local conservation projects.

One programme was launched by the Vaiusu Women's Committee who planted more than 5000 mangroves along the coastal area of Vaiusu, with a small bridge built around it so people can have easy access to the mangroves.

The village received funding for the project from the United Nations Development Program and Samoa's Environment Ministry.

The Marine Conversation officer at the Environment Ministry, Malaki Iakopo, says the Vaiusu village project stemmed from an earlier model in the villages of Saanapu and Sataoa.

He says the success of that project helped formed the Saanapu-Satoa Mangrove Conservation Area.

Mr Iakopo says the survival of mangroves in Samoa is vital.

"70 percent of Samoa's population live along the coast and that's where the mangroves grow and most people depend on the coastal resources like fish for their livelihood and income. So that's why we are trying to conserve the marine environment as a whole."