May 9, 2012

Samoa State of the Environment 2012

Developing an environmental assessment framework in the Pacific

In collaboration with the Secretariat for Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), Heath Kelsey, Tracey Saxby, and Adrian Jones traveled to Samoa (Tracey and Adrian will be there until the end of this month) to help develop an environmental assessment framework for Pacific island countries. This current work follows on from a workshop in Nadi, Viti Levu, Fiji, in March this year.

SPREP’s goal with this initiative is to improve the efficiency of regional environmental reporting, in part by applying a consistent assessment framework based on habitats that are common among countries and island types.

Regional assessment framework

Regional assessment framework, based on habitats expected in each island type. Each applicable habitat would be assessed independently and the results integrated to arrive at an overall environmental condition assessment.

This framework is also designed to focus the assessment on the “state” of the environment. Previously, most reporting has been on management “responses” taken to protect the environment, or on “pressures” on the environment; to date, reporting on the actual environmental condition has not received as much attention in the pacific region.

Reporting framework

State of Environment reporting framework in relation to Pressures and Responses

Applying the framework in Samoa

We began the process of applying the framework with a workshop in Apia, Upolu, Samoa with the representatives from SPREP and several government ministries, departments, and organizations. The workshop resulted in a draft newsletter that describes the assessment framework, and highlights the resources and pressures affecting the environment in Samoa. This newsletter will be released in time for the 50th independence anniversary celebration in early June, and the current state of the environment report will be the first example of applying the framework in the pacific region.

Workshop participants

Workshop participants, Apia, Upolu, Samoa April 16, 2012

Samoa newslettter

Draft cover of the State of the environment newsletter to be released in early June.

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About the author
Dr. Heath Kelsey is Program Director at IAN, and leads a team of Science Integrators and Science Communicators to develop environmental report cards and science communication products. He is currently working on report cards for Chesapeake Bay, the Great Barrier Reef, the Gulf of Mexico, and a coalition of local report card groups in the mid-Atlantic.
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Filed under: Environmental Report Cards — Tags: , , — Heath Kelsey @ 2:49 pm

1 Comment »

  1. The report card is now available from IAN Press in English ( and Samoan (

    Comment by IAN — June 18, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

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