American Samoa has a fragile ecosystem. It is therefore important for us to act in a manner prudent to our survival and encourage others to act with prudence as well. As an island Territory, we are directly and immediately impacted by global climate change. The implications of increased global temperatures put our very survival at risk.
A majority of our population resides along the shoreline; any rise in ocean level will threaten homes and displace our residences. Any loss of coastal land will disturb the delicate balance of our Territory’s ability to provide resources such as food and local building materials. Most of our local water supply comes from underground freshwater aquifers. Any rise in ocean level will likely compromise our freshwater aquifers via seawater intrusion.
Climate change endangers the survival of our coral reefs, the rain forest of the ocean. We depend on our coral reefs for subsistence fishing and protection from hurricanes. Any loss of our coral reefs is detrimental to our capacity to endure severe weather events and to feed our families.
Therefore, American Samoa must take an active stance in combating climate change at the Territorial level. We must do all we can locally to help affect a global strategy against the threat of climate change. As American Samoa moves forward into the future, we must be committed to do our part. AS-EPA believes we can achieve this vision by supporting the following initiatives:
- Using “Green Building” technology for Government projects.
- Using Hybrid vehicles within the Government fleet.
- Exploring the use of tax and importation incentives to encourage private industry to be more ecofriendly and to bring “green” technologies to our Territory.
- Using alternative energy sources such as Wind Farms and Solar Arrays.
- Restricting the importation of older less efficient vehicles.
- Educating the public about why it is important we fight climate change and how they can help.