SAMOA, Falealupo Village, Savai'i Island - January 2009
Construction of an aluminum tower for the Falealupo Rainforest Canopy Walkway
The aerial rainforest canopy walkway at Falealupo Village, on the island of Savaii, in Samoa has been one of Seacology's most prominent ecotourism projects. The rainforest walkway has been listed in nearly every guidebook on Samoa, and has been visited by many tourists. All revenues from the walkway are returned to the village. The walkway currently consists of a wooden tower that rises about 10 meters, a stainless steel swinging span of about 50 meters, which connects to a large banyan tree, and then a series of stairways and observations platforms within the banyan which extend to a height of about 75 meters above the forest. However, the walkway was closed in February 2008 when rot was found in the wooden tower. Seacology will fund the replacement of the wooden tower with a specially designed aluminum tower which is stronger, and which should last for 30 to 40 years. *
UPDATE March 2010 - As of March 2010 Kevin Jordan of Arbornaut Access reports that the timeline for construction to begin in Samoa has been pushed back due to delays in receiving some materials from the US. The materials should now arrive in Samoa towards the latter part of April 2010.
UPDATE April 2010 - As of April 2010 the container is on schedule to arrive in Apia May 7, but it is unknown whether or not they will be successful in clearing it from the port on that same day. As soon as materials have cleared, construction will begin in Savaii. Due to prior commitments and the delays experienced in shipping the container, time allocation is compressed as the welder must depart Samoa on June 6. However if all goes according to plan, Kevin Jordan believes that construction will be completed by this time.
UPDATE June 2010 - As of June 2010 Kevin Jordan reports that the tower was completed and the opening held on June 10, 2010 and attended by Chairman Paul Cox, Board Member Masayuki Kishimoto, and several representatives of Seacology Japan.