The Samoa Climate Smart Reforestation Carbon Offset Project (C.O.F.F.S.E.T) kickstarted in Togitogiga this week.
Thirty young people from the villages of Sa’aga, Poutasi and Saleilua were successfully inducted as Carbon Offset Champions to do native tree replanting as part of the Coffset project by the Samoa Conservation Society in partnership with the the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.).
Funded through the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility, the project tackles; restoration of degraded forest, youth unemployment and alleviating poverty, raising environmental awareness of youth especially women and engaging the public and private sectors in Samoa’s first Carbon Offset programme.
The Project takes on 30 Champions from the Villages Sa’aga, Saleilua and Poutasi where they will participate in the growing of native trees in the national park.
Of those 30 champions there are nine females participating to highlight the importance of women’s role in the fight against climate change.
The participants will be engaged for 50 days over the next eight months, 40 of those days being fieldwork and 10 days in the classroom where they will learn different ways in which they can help the fight against Climate Change.
“The young men and women will work closely with Forestry experts from M.N.R.E. and with Samoa Conservation Society to improve their skills and knowledge of forest management and conservation in general,” said Christine Tuioti, Project Manager.
With the launch of the Project the Participants were given gear to assist them in their work on the field. The First day started with a briefing where the participants were shown the processes of the work that they will be carrying out by MNRE Forestry experts.
The Champions were eager and excited to be learning about the restoration of native species as well as contributing to the overall well being of the land.
By the end of the Project, the aim is to plant 12,000 trees and to have raised awareness amongst our youth for the persistent Environmental issues we all face. The Project has exciting prospects as it addresses a range of problems in a holistic fashion under the broad themes of environment and socio-economics. We have hopes to expand this project all over our Nation.
“We Thank all our partners and donors as well as local communities and organisations who are contributing to the conservation of and restoration of Samoas Native forests.”