EcoSTEPS in Samoa

Article in the Angle by Rich Bowden

Paul Bateson, of the Blue Mountains-based sustainability consultants EcoSTEPS, recently took time out from a tourism-focused sustainability meeting in Samoa to present the country’s prime minister with a Socceroos shirt.

One of Australia’s most ardent football supporters, Paul (also known as Pablo) presented the shirt, signed by leading Socceroo and Everton midfielder Tim Cahill, to Prime Minister, the Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, in his office in Apia on May 28. According to Pablo the shirt was presented to the prime minister “…on behalf of Tim Cahill and all fans of the Socceroos.”

The signature was obtained by Pablo from the Socceroos star, whose mother is Samoan, after the recent warm-up match against New Zealand and prior to his departure with the rest of the Australian squad to South Africa to commence their World Cup campaign. Cahill expressed his solidarity with the Samoan people in the message on the shirt which said: “Talofa, Samoa’s always in my heart, World Cup 2010.”

According to a briefing note prepared by EcoSTEPS, Pablo is meeting with representatives of the Samoan Government to assist in the setting up of a task force to tackle sustainable tourism projects.
Paul Bateson is in Samoa to assist the Samoan government agencies in progressing sustainable tourism programs and projects for economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.
Part of the sustainable tourism development process is the establishment and operation of a Task Force for Tourism Climate Change. The Task Force will be comprised of a range of stakeholders including representatives of Samoan agencies (STA, MNRE), invited organisations with specialist expertise in tourism and climate change (including EcoSTEPS, UNDP, SPREP, SPTO and PATA), alongside local representatives from Samoan tourism operators and village leaders.

The tourism task force will look to attract investment in Samoa’s sustainable tourism projects, opening up opportunities for growth and insulate better the country against the effects of climate change, said the release. This Task Force provides a unique opportunity to forge ahead with strategically focused and effective tourism. This will integrate tourism in a sustainable way, and attract and deliver large investment for implementing projects that greatly expand tourism revenues and enable the Samoan community to become resilient to climate change impacts.

There is an exciting opportunity for the Prime Minister to launch and officially open the first meeting of the Task Force, which could possibly be held in August or September 2010; subject to discussions with CEO STA, Matatamalii Sonja Hunter.


A1 International