Wednesday, October 19, 2011

5 Minutes with Samoa

19 October 2011, Changwon Korea -  The official delegation of Samoa at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is Ms. Filisita Heather and Ms. Faainoino Laulala of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.  In the absence of the Minister and Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Heather is the Head of delegation in her capacity as the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Land Management.

Ms. Laulala is the Principal Land Policy and Development Officer of the Ministry and is Samoa’s official correspondant of the UNCCD Committee on Science and Technology, she has been responsible for implementing the Convention at the national level.

L - R Ms. Fa'ainoino Laulala, Ms. Filisita Heather
Q. What is the key issue for Samoa at the UNCCD COP 10?
Land degradation is important for us in Samoa, and we are encountering drought as well this month.  I think this convention is a good way for us to look forward for long term solutions and activities to help address these issues.

Q. Why is it important for Samoa to be part of the UNCCD?The convention has parties from all around the world, for Samoa it’s important as it is through implementing the requirements of this convention that we have activities on the ground to bring about sustainable land management.  By being part of this convention we can also have access to funds or financial support to improve our land quality.

Ms. Fa’ainoino Laulala
Q. How important do you think the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is, on the global scale?
Desertification for Samoa can be clearly understood in the context of land degradation and drought, it is the main issue of consideration for us in this Convention.  Our thanks goes out to the UNCCD for trying to make ‘Land’ clearly visible as the most basic natural resource which essentially connects us to all other parts of our natural ecosystems upon which humans can survive.

If we don’t ‘care for land, for land is life’ everything we do to address climate change and restore the loss of biodiversity, fails. 

We must be mindful that land physically houses all other environmental natural resources such as water, forests, biodiversity and soil, only then can we fully understand the intrinsic value of our land in the context of the sustainable development framework especially aswe approach the Rio+20 meeting come June 2012 which we hope will further highlight the need for synergetic efforts of the three Rio Conventions to address the global environmental problems.

We all need to place ‘land’ as an important issue of the highest priority on the national agenda through mainstreaming sustainable land management practices into national plans and effective implementation of these plans through law enforcement. We small island states are relatively small in size and are vulnerable to climate change and have a fragile resource base, so we rely on our land for survival.  I call on all to give Land and this convention the priority and support it deserves.

No comments:

Post a Comment