“Samoan Voyaging Society Project” - Environmental Education and Traditional Knowledge Sharing of Local Communities by Seascape Approaches
In Samoa and across the Pacific Islands region, coastal reefs and fisheries are under threat from climate change, sea level rise, habitat degradation, increasing temperatures and more intense storms that impact terrestrial and marine environments. CI has worked in the Pacific region for over 20 years, in close collaboration with communities, governments and regional partners. CI’s aim is to support Pacific Island states as stewards of the ocean, to effectively manage their coastal and marine resources, and collaborate on shared resources and issues through alignment with the regional Framework for a Pacific Oceanscape, which was endorsed by all Pacific Island leaders in 2010. CI works closely with the Samoan Government in natural resource management, driven and underpinned by Samoa’s cultural ties to biodiversity and the natural world. In order to reach remote communities with natural resource management support in a powerful manner, CI will partner with the Samoan government, Samoan Conservation Society (SCS) and the Samoan Voyaging Society (SVS) and use the Samoan traditional voyaging canoe or Va’a—called the Gaualofa—as a vessel for environmental outreach.
Building upon traditional storytelling and voyaging platforms, CI and partners will sail the Gaulofa to exchange with remote coastal communities across Samoa. The Gaualofa embodies Samoa’s unique connection to the marine environment and has the power to inspire and empower.
Under this project, CI and partners will extend natural resource management guidance as well as listen and learn from the communities themselves. Through this exchange, CI and partners will learn from communities to better understand their challenges and together discern existing barriers to effective coastal resource management. These exchanges will lay the foundations for future natural resource management planning, and ultimately support Samoa to conserve and protect its natural environment in alignment with the Pacific Oceanscape Framework.
Objective 1: CI in partnership with the Samoan Government and local Samoan NGO Samoan Conservation Society (SVS), develop and provide training to Samoan Voyaging Society (SVS) in coastal and marine resource management.
Objective 2: Conduct community outreach and exchange workshops in at least 25 of Samoa's remote island communities on coastal and marine resource management.
Objective 3: Support and monitor management plan development in target communities
- -Design training module for SVS in coastal and marine resource management
-Exchange with the Bird’s Head Seascape Team – Provide training to Samoan Voyaging Society and Va’a crew in coastal management, as well as technical skills in coastal monitoring
-Develop Community Outreach module and communications materials linked to overall Samoan Seascape development plan
-Objective 2: Conduct community outreach and exchange workshops in at least 25 of Samoa's remote island communities on coastal and marine resource management
- -Conduct social perception surveys with communities (in order to refine our outreach and target the knowledge gaps) (Year 1-2)
-Conduct community-based workshops on coastal and marine resource management and Marine Protected Areas (Year 2)
- -Develop and implement monitoring plan to support communities in coastal/marine management planning and basic biophysical monitoring
-Training model created.
-Exchanges conducted with CI Indonesia Bird’s Head Seascape team and lessons learned from Kalabia documented for application in Polynesia.
-Communications materials developed, and community outreach strategy developed and shared with national and regional stakeholders for feedback.
-Social perceptions of communities used to further refine communications materials.
-Awareness and understanding of coastal and marine resource management and MPAs raised within 25 remote communities in Samoa.
-Coastal Management plans being developed and monitored in at least 5 communities.