|Digging deep to offset SIDS meeting|
|Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00|
Article by Faumuina Tafuna’i
Agricultural and development leaders dug deep to help offset the carbon footprint caused by the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa earlier this month.
Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community coordinator Karen Mapusua rallied delegates attending the Organic Islands event to plant trees at Faleata Reserve. It was a move to offset the thousands of plane journeys, imported goods and huge spikes in energy usage for the SIDS meeting.
“There’s people here from all over the world and we have created all sorts of environmental damage just getting here I think,” says Mapusua. “And this is a way of trying to put back, planting some trees, offsetting some carbon, connecting into the soil and leaving a tree behind.”
She says trees and agroforestry systems are really essential and integral to organic agriculture and the planting was also in support of Women in Business Development’s carbon offset programme.
Delegates who got their hands dirty included International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements president Andre Leu, The Technical Centre of Agricultural and Rural Co-operation director Dr Michael Hailu, Moses Amos, Director Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Oxfam NZ director Rachael Le Mesurier, NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs first secretary development Michael Upton, Women in Business Development board members and Pacific Island Association of Non-Governmental Organisation representatives.
Women in Business Development executive director Adimaimalaga Tafunai says the OffsetISLANDS 2014, which involved an action and awareness campaign supported by the Samoa Observer, had been successful in showing how Samoa was minimizing carbon emissions through recycling and renewable energies.
“We produced more than 20 stories about carbon offsetting. We know we can still do better by planting more trees to stabilize our coastlines as well as stopping the practice of burning garden waste, which is something that has to be tackled at a village level.
“To everyone that planted trees or composted to offset the SIDS meeting, we are extremely grateful.”
Mapusua says that around 40 trees were planted at Faleata. “I think everyone was really touched to be able to do that. So we’re supporting our partners and trying to walk the talk and contribute to conserving our environment.”
The tree-planting event was supported by the Samoa Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which provided trees, staff and tools.