Activity Report from Samoa Vol.01 (23/03/2018)
by Schannel Van Dijken and Maria Fiasoso Sapatu (CI Samoa)

Reviving Samoa's cultural traditions
related to ocean sailing

Have you been to Samoa?

Samoan traditional canoe, “Gaualofa”

Samoa is known to be the heart of Polynesia due to its location in the South Pacific and its recognition as the ancestral homeland of all Polynesians who were voyagers. Majority of Samoa’s local communities are located along its coastline and depend heavily on the ocean for livelihood. Sustainable management of these marine resources is vital, and it involves various sectors who are associated with mountain ridges towards the ocean. Conservation International (CI) Samoa works closely with the Samoan Government to support sustainable management of these natural resources.

Within SATO YAMA UMI project, CI Samoa partners up with the Samoan government, Samoan Conservation Society (SCS) and the Samoan Voyaging Society (SVS) in using Samoa’s traditional 22m voyaging canoe (“Vaka, Waka or Va’a”) called “Gaualofa” as a floating classroom to deliver an innovative environmental education campaign to the communities around Samoa. The “Gaualofa” will deliver the campaign to key selected local communities to promote understanding on ocean science and strengthening awareness on sustainable management tools such as marine protected areas and fish reserves.

We are small staff

Children of local community

Challenges faced in the last 3 months were:
• Samoa KNCF Project lead (Mr. Schannel Van Dijken) has been away in NZ for voyaging leading the SVS with needed maintenance and training of crew. He has been in and out of regular contact at some points.
• Availability of key partners directors to meet with CI Samoa.