Samoa State of the Environment 2012

Heath Kelsey ·
9 May 2012
Environmental Report Cards |     2 comments

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.

About the author

Heath Kelsey

Heath Kelsey has been with IAN since 2009, as a Science Integrator, Program Manager, and as Director since 2019. His work focuses on helping communities become more engaged in socio-environmental decision making. He has over 10-years of experience in stakeholder engagement, environmental and public health assessment, indicator development, and science communication. He has led numerous ecosystem health and socio-environmental health report card projects globally, in Australia, India, the South Pacific, Africa, and throughout the US. Dr. Kelsey received his MSPH (2000) and PhD (2006) from The University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health. He is a graduate of St Mary’s College of Maryland (1988). He was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Papua New Guinea from 1995-1998.

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  • IAN 11 years ago

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

  • Atika 6 days ago

    Thank you for sharing this great information with us, i really appreciate your post!

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