The Samoana Folauga or Moana Conservation Outreach was officially launched this past April by Conservation International (CI), Samoa Voyaging Society, the Government of Samoa and partners.
Sponsored by Conservation International and the Disney Conservation Fund this was the “first-of-its kind” collaboration that brought conservation sustainable environmental and cultural stewardship education to Samoan coastal communities on the Gaualofa, Samoa’s traditional double-hulled voyaging canoe.
Captain Fealofani Bruun, her crew, along with a team of local environmental and cultural educators visited communities on the Gaualofa to host free outdoor screenings of Disney’s Moana accompanied with interactive training on basic coastal and marine management principles, Samoan traditional voyaging, and cultural heritage site appreciation and preservation.
“This is a very exciting project for all partners involved and for our local conservation efforts. We are collaborating in the true spirit of conservation and utilizing an iconic traditional platform, our very own voyaging Va’a, in which to communicate these stewardship messages with our communities,” said SVS President and Marine Program Director of CI’s Pacific Oceanscape program, Mr. Schannel van Djiken.
The project was a collaborative effort between CI, MNRE, MAF, Samoa Voyaging Society, Samoa Conservation Society, Youth Climate Action network, Samoa Hotel Association, Spacifix Marketing and the Center of Samoa Studies at the National University of Samoa
The Gaualofa dropped anchor in six locations where the crew and representatives from MAF, MNRE, NUS, Samoa Conservation Society and SVS worked with the communities on conservation efforts on the ground.
“We have brought together a very strong team of local conservation professionals from Government and NGOs, with varying backgrounds both in terrestrial and marine experience, and cultural heritage academics, so we have a very exciting programme planned,” said van Dijken.
The program was officially launched in Apia, followed by the sail to Satitoa, Aleipata. After these visits, the Gaulofa dropped anchor at Poutasi, Manono, Salelologa, Fagamalo, Asau.