7 Mar 2008

Funding puts marine areas in Samoa on sustainable footing

2:29 pm on 7 March 2008

Conservation International's Pacific marine programmes manager, Sue Miller Taei, says a donation of just over 100 thousand US dollars from the Coral Reefs in the Pacific Program will help put Samoa's two largest protected marine areas at Aleipata and Safata on a sustainable footing.

But she says on-going outside financial and technical support of protected marine areas is both necessary and appropriate.

"They do need outside help not just money but technical support and information, because the things that they are conserving here and places like Aleipata and Safata actually have globally important coral reef biodiversity and key species - such as Hawkesbill Turtle nesting sites."

Ms Taei says the eight-year-old protected areas have boosted tourism, increased fish stocks, and halted the deterioration of the coral reefs.

She says the community-run Samoan marine protected areas provide a model for other communities interested in protecting their marine environments for future generations.