A 500-million US dollar tourist development proposed for the Samoan island of Savaii is concerning local environmentalists.
The Hawaii-based South Pacific Development group proposes to build timeshare condominiums, a world-class golf course, luxury private homes, low-rise hotels, a recreational marina, cruise port, helipad and retail shopping facilities as well as a medical clinic, a new school and cultural centre.
The resort is to be built on 600 acres of leased customary lands in the village of Sasina.
The executive director of the environmental group O le Si'osi'omaga Society, Fiu Mataese Elisara-Laulu, says the impact of such a development needs to be examined closely.
He says the land is being leased too cheaply and for too long, and it will be impossible for the landowners to buy the land back at the end of the lease.
"That is committing six hundred acres of customary land to a golf course and hotel development forever because any committment by the company to return those lands will be conditional on communities purchasing those improvements on their lands and when you start to talk about multi-million dollar improvements, it is very unlikely that our own communities will have the capacity to buy these back."
The executive director of the environmental group O le Si'osi'omaga Society, Fiu Mataese Elisara-Laulu.