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Conservation benefit: 50-year conservation of crucial wetland and wildfowl habitat

Community benefit: Restoration of historic white sand beach ecosystem damaged by a hurricane; trail and observation platform

Date Approved: 01.2006

Falealupo is home to Seacology’s first project, the Falealupo Rainforest School. Sadly, tsunami waves generated by Hurricanes Ofa and Val destroyed the village’s white sand beach. Once touted as the most beautiful village in Samoa, the white sand areas were covered with organic material during the hurricane. As a result, a scrubby, coastal assemblage of weed-like trees now covers the area.

Seacology will provide funds to restore the former village area and beach and build a small trail and observation platform. In return, the village will preserve for 50 years the unique Falealupo wetland, the habitat of threatened wildfowl species.

Project Updates

January 2009

Villagers removed invasive plants on the beach and landscaped the beach area between mid-2006 and late 2007. As of December 2008 a walking trail and observation platform were constructed in the wetlands conservation area, and beach restoration efforts continue.

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December 2007

Village leader Solia Va’ai provided a brief verbal update on December 5, 2007. He noted that the observation platform is now scheduled to be completed by mid-December 2007 and that restoration efforts are continuing.

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January 2007

Members of the Seacology Samoa expedition with Japanese fellows and board members visited the village in July 2006. Village work to restore the beach, including using heavy machinery to clear invasive plants from the area and replant native species, had already begun when the delegation arrived. Board chair Paul Cox presented the first payment of the grant to the village, and the village provided a ceremony in recognition of Seacology’s support. The village plans to complete the removal of invasive plants, landscape the beach area, and prepare the site for construction of the walkway and observation platform by the end of 2006.

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