As it continues to prepare for safe tourism reactivation, Samoa has announced that it will be launching the Samoa Travel Tracer – a contact tracing application made possible through a collaborative partnership between the Samoa Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Health.
Samoa Travel Tracer will use Bluetooth to trace close contact between users and will be available on Google Play and the Apple App Store in due course.
In mid- June Samoa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme entered its next phase with the Ministry of Health starting the second-dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. As of 17th June, more than 43,000 (or 32% of the eligible population) had received the first dose and more than 800 had received the second dose.
In other developments, a Mangrove Restoration Eco-Tourism Project has been launched in Moataa,a village near Apia, Samoa with support from the Pacific Islands Forest Restoration Initiative (PIFRI) which is funded by the U.S Department of State and implemented by the U.S Forest Service.
The initiative aims to help Pacific island countries plan, implement, and monitor restoration initiatives, improve carbon sequestration, and strengthen resilience to climate change.
In that regard, US$49,000.000 was provided for the project which was made possible through local partnerships between the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MNRE) and the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (MAF).
Speaking at the project launch, Jonathan Yoo, U.S Embassy Charge d’Affaires, noted that PIFRI also includes a small grants program, technical assistance for forest restoration projects, and regional workshops on coastal and upland forest restoration and island ecosystems.
The village of Moataa has undertaken a number of initiatives to protect their renowned mangrove ecosystem, including the development of a Community Integrated Management Plan and the Moata’a Mangrove Conservation Area Management Plan. Such initiatives are integral in ensuring the environmental sustainability of Samoa as a destination and the central role of tourism as a force for good in protecting our natural resources.
(Picture Credit: Samoa Tourism Authority)