Apia, 14 July 2022: The Scientific Research Organization of Samoa (SROS) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have signed an agreement for the partnership to support local research in Samoa. This partnership is a result of the UN Joint Programme on Ecosystem Services Building Forward Better by Safeguarding Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services (commonly called, UNJP on Ecosystem Services).
The UNJP on Ecosystem Services is supporting the development of policy and planning, collection of data and valuation of ecosystem services to support the development of scenarios for the future, reporting against sustainable development goals (SDGs) 11-15, and building a case for investment in ecosystem services. The ecosystem services are central to human wellbeing, which are critical for the realization of SDGs 1 to 3.
The UNJP on Ecosystem Services is a joint initiative of the United Nations’ Joint SDG Fund and the Government of Samoa. It is led by UNESCO with UNEP and UNESCAP as the participating UN organizations and SPREP as the regional partner. The national implementing partners are the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) and SROS. The partnership with SROS brings WST 160700.80 in phase 1 and would add WST 77,951.00 in the planned phase 2 involving actions on research findings.
Additionally, the cooperation will bring scientific capacity development to the key staff of SROS and the development of guidelines of policy around bioethics.
SROS team, CEO Seuseu Dr Edward Tauati and Toleafoa Annie Tuisuga with Director for the UNESCO Office for the Pacific States, Ms Nisha.
Seuseu Tauati, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of SROS acknowledged the importance of the partnership in light of the work to be undertaken by SROS in the coming months:
SROS is grateful to the Joint SGD Fund for supporting this project. As a local research organization, SROS strives to support Samoa's natural capital and ecosystem services to inform and improve policy and management efforts. We are excited and looking forward to implementing this project to save our ecosystems.
Acknowledging challenges to the realization of the ambitions of various global and regional conventions on biodiversity from climate change, erosion of the ecosystems and inadequate attention to culture and traditional knowledge, and currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nisha, Director of the Office and UNESCO Representative to the Pacific States, stated:
UNESCO through its work on biodiversity promotes integration between conservation, learning and sustainable development to offer solutions to challenges we face locally and globally. This partnership is a step towards making sure that natural assets, including traditional knowledge, are valued, protected and used sustainably.
The UNJP on Ecosystem Services is planned as Samoa’s contribution to the two highly relevant UN decades: UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030.
Through this partnership, UNESCO and SROS re-confirmed their commitment to long-lasting cooperation for positive and widespread impacts, stemming from technical work under the UNJP on Ecosystem Services.
About Joint SDG Fund
The Joint SDG Fund is a multi-partner trust fund. This means contributions it receives are not entity-specific, but aim to support broader UN system-level functions. In this way, it differs from restrictive earmarked funding which can fuel competition and hamper cooperation among UN entities. This type of pooled funding used by multi-partners trust funds, like the Joint SDG Fund is widely considered ‘multilateralism-friendly’ – and is much more suitable for the integrated support at scale essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda. The current contributors to the Joint SDG Fund are Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the European Commission, the Kingdom of Netherlands and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The Government of Samoa established the Scientific Research Organization of Samoa (SROS) in 2006 to promote research and innovation by scientists for sustainable economic growth. SROS works to support the development of the private sector by establishing through research optimal use of locally available natural resources of Samoa. SROS implements and supports the Government of Samoa’s national development strategy by providing research, training, and analysis needed for sound decision-making. SROS also plays an important role in delivering trusted and efficient services to businesses. SROS attempts to meet scientific research needs across government and maintains strong relationships with local businesses, the science community, and its clients.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture and communication and information. In cooperation with 193 Member States and 11 Associate Members, and partners in academia and research organizations, non- and inter-governmental organizations and the private sector, UNESCO has its imprint on the world through norms and standards in education, culture, sciences and communications, the World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves, and supports national economies, environment, local culture and resilient communities. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) is the United Nations Commission responsible for supporting global ocean science and services created under the auspices of UNESCO. The UNESCO Office for the Pacific States implements UNESCO’s mandate among sixteen Member States and an Associate Member in the Pacific: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands (Republic of), Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau (Associate), Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.