Samoa won't be left behind
Reporter: Adel Fruean (Samoa Observer)
The Ocean’s officer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is currently attending a workshop on ocean science in New Caledonia so that Samoa won't be left behind.
“It's very important to be at the table when we talk about what our regional priorities are and especially in the ocean sphere there is so much being done,” said Matilda Bartley.
“It's a very big issue and it's also significant to ensure that we are working together as a region for the common goal and if we don't have a seat at the table, how do we ensure our priorities are reflected,” said Mrs Bartley.
She said that MFAT was invited by the Pacific Community (SPC) to take part in a three-day workshop this week on the United Nations Decade of ocean science for sustainable development 2021-2030 at the SPC headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.
She stated that Samoa is taking part is to see how the science or scientific research could better inform them when setting up policies.
“Samoa has instituted the plastic ban and we would like to see in the next decade whether or not our efforts at a national level and in the regional level has been effective to address the issue for the Pacific Ocean.
“It is also to discover is that we have done enough as a region to address the issue of plastic pollution in our waters - how do we find that out? We need the science to be there to collect the information necessary.
“Samoa would like to see the resources that will become available and be utilised by appropriate specialists,” she told the Samoa Observer.
The Ocean’s officer from MFAT said that there are a lot of different ministries that deal with oceans in Samoa.
“We have Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI) that looks at maritime and that deals with vessels coming into our waters to ensure that they meet the international standards. There is also the Ministry of Police who are responsible for patrolling our national waters with enforcing maritime security.
“Then, we have border controls looked after by Quarantine that ensure that the vessels that coming into Samoa are not carrying pests and diseases and these all revolve around safety.
“We have the MNRE who are looking at conservation and ocean management and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries looking at coastal fisheries and how it relates to priorities offshore fisheries and our obligations at a regional level to make sure we do not overfish,” she said.
She added that SPC and MFAT have collaborated for a long period of time.
“We have only just looked at scientific research as an organisation but we rely on our agencies like SPC to undertake the big regional work that happens around the region to be able to provide that scientific advice that we don't have in our country. So for us we would like to see resources be made available and utilised for the benefit of the whole region.”
You are able to enjoy independent news coverage like the above through SPC’s (The Pacific Community) Australian funded Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac).
Photo: Matilda Bartley from the Samoa Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade