SPREP facilitates range of training seminars for crew of Va'a Gaualofa

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has begun a series of training seminars with the crew from the Samoa Voyaging Society's traditional sailing vessel, Gaualofa, to help strengthen their understanding of environmental issues.

"When voyaging, one of the messages we want to champion is to take better care of our ocean and our environment," said Captain Fealofani Brunn.

"Although we are rebuilding and restoring traditional navigation, we need to also gain an understanding of environmental issues, and more importantly, how to action that knowledge into practical solutions."

In strengthening the relationship between Samoa Voyaging Society and SPREP, a series of training workshops for Gaualofa crew will take place with each SPREP division covering the areas of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management, Climate Change, Environmental Monitoring and Governance, Waste Management and Pollution Control, and Media and Communications.

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The first session was held on 12 May with Dr Netatua Pelesikoti, the Director of the Climate Change Division, and Mr Peniamina Leavai who helped the crew further understand the science of climate change in order for them to relate it to their work on the ocean.

These sessions are designed to assist crew members in understanding the environmental issues faced by the Pacific Ocean and its marine and island inhabitants, as well as enable them to answer the many questions asked of them when their voyages arrive in different countries around the world.

The next voyage of the Gaualofa is to Hawaii to coincide with the International Union on Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Conservation Congress to be held there.

For more information on the sessions contact Ms Anna Bertram on annab@sprep.org
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