22 Oct 2008

Chairman of White House Council on Environmental Quality visits American Samoa

11:00 am on 22 October 2008

The chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Jim Connaughton, has visited American Samoa as part of an assessment of potential marine national monument areas in the Pacific.

The council is a policy group advising President George Bush on environmental, natural resources and energy issues.

Rose atoll, one of the seven islands of American Samoa is among the list of monument possibilities.

Mr Connaughton says there is wide local support for making Rose Atoll a national monument.

He says they are focussing on several areas in the American Pacific territories after the success surrounding the creation of the first marine national monument in Hawaii.

"To take another step by looking at Rose Atoll, as well as looking at some of the Line Islands such as Howland, Baker and Jarvis and looking at some areas in and around the Marianas, we can further call the world's attention to these remarkable ecosystems here in the Pacific, and then that in turn is going to bring great international attention and recognition to American Samoa."