GEF Agency: UNDP
Executing Agency: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
LDCF Grant: $2,400,000
Samoa’s forests are a vital source of prime material and food, supporting the livelihoods of many rural communities. Unfortunately, Samoa’s natural resources are extremely vulnerable, already bearing the effects of climate change such as increased air temperatures, increased frequency in extreme daily rainfalls, and rising sea levels. Also, extensive cyclonic damage to Samoa’s forest resources and ineffective recovery actions further compound the increasing risks of drought and forest fires in Samoa. Other impacts on Samoa’s forests include increased soil erosion, further threatening Samoa’s unique biodiversity, and reduced effectiveness of existing watershed management and traditional harvesting.
This project seeks to enhance the resilience of forest ecosystems of Samoa, resilience meaning the capacity of a forest to withstand and absorb external pressures and return, over time, as close as possible to its pre-disturbance state. Samoa’s forests are currently under threat due to land-use practices, and this is further exacerbated by risks arising from changing climatic conditions. Therefore, this project addresses both land-use and climate risks in an integrated way to enhance resilience to the likely incidence of hazards such as forest fires, erosion and landslides, expansion of invasive species, and other causes by extreme climatic events (such as cyclones and droughts) as well as gradual climatic changes (rising temperature, changing precipitation and moisture, etc). Also, the project hopes to rehabilitate areas damaged by cyclones, forest-fire, and unsustainable land-use practices using a combination of native species that are more resistant to the increasing incidences of damage caused by cyclones and drought.