IUCN welcomes Samoa as new State Member

08 July 2011 | News story

The Government of the Independent State of Samoa has officially announced its decision to join IUCN by endorsing the Union’s Statutes, becoming a State Member of the world’s largest and oldest environmental network. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been designated by the Government of Samoa as its liaison with the IUCN Secretariat.

IUCN welcomes Samoa, an archipelago covering more than 2,000 square kilometres in the central South Pacific Ocean and home to the world’s second largest Polynesian group. With a population of 179,000 people, Fa’a-Samoa (or the ‘Samoan way’) remains intact among Samoan people, influencing the socio-political and cultural way of life. Samoa is made up of nine volcanic islands often referred to as the cradle of Polynesia. From the rainforest covered rugged volcanic mountain peaks of the two main islands, Savai’i and Upolu, to the vast fertile valleys leading to coastlines ringed with white sandy beaches, Samoa’s natural bounty speaks for itself.

The diversity of Samoa’s natural resources, its history, culture, and commitment to a sustainable, healthy environment, make us proud to welcome this island nation as a new State Member of our Union.

“Samoa for many years was our sole agency member in the region and the Government is a major leader on environment issues in the region and has one of the stronger environment ministry teams in the Pacific,” says Taholo Kami, Regional Director of IUCN Oceania. “We look forward to working with the Government of Samoa”.

Samoa is a signatory to key environmental conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Heritage Convention, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Convention on Law of the Sea, and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, signifying its commitment to the sustainable management of its natural resources.

Samoa is the fifth Pacific Island to become a State Member of IUCN from Oceania, joining Fiji, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

For more information contact:
Helen Pippard, Membership Focal Point, IUCN Regional Office for Oceania
Tel: +679 3319-084
Email: helen.pippard@iucn.org
www.iucn.org/oceania