14 Jul 2008

Samoa environmentalist calls for balance between development and conservation

8:53 pm on 14 July 2008

A environmentalist is calling on Samoa's government to ensure a balance is kept between development and conservation efforts.

The call comes after the announcement a development group's plans to lease 600 acres of customary land in the village of Sasina to build a multi million dollar new resort near a pristine lowland forest.

Susau Siolo from the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment says while deforestation has occured mainly on Upolu, forests on Savaii island remain largely intact.

Conserving the upland and lowland forests on Savaii she says would ensure the future sustainability of endangered wildlife and native plant species.

"We have concern at the health of people, the health of the environment. It has to be balanced. If there is a lot of developments going on and modification of the land going on, there has to be some land preserved for the natural biodiversity there. Our environment is our heritage, and we have to keep it as it is."

Susau Siolo from Samoa's Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment.